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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Massa: F1 retirement won’t hit me until next year

Felipe Massa says he won't feel the full effect of leaving Formula One until the start of next season when he is not on the grid.
Felipe Massa says he won't feel the full effect of leaving Formula One until the start of next season when he is not on the grid, having begun his final F1 race weekend in Abu Dhabi.

The Williams driver, who ended his final Friday free practice in F1 tenth overall in Abu Dhabi, says he isn't focusing on the race weekend as his 250th and final in the sport as he is concentrating on a positive performance to leave on a high note.

The Brazilian driver believes he will only truly feel the effects of F1 retirement around the time of 2017 pre-season testing and when the season opener in Australia rolls around.

“When you are in the race weekend you are just thinking about the car, thinking about the set-up, so for sure I didn't even think about it being my last Friday,” Massa said. “Everything is going in a good way so I'm not feeling anything, but maybe when the season starts for sure you feel a little bit more.

“When you start next season and you're not there it will be something a bit strange and you're going to feel more than just now when it's the end of the season and everybody wants to stop, everybody wants to go home, everybody wants to relax and have some holidays. So maybe the beginning of the season will be a little bit more tough than it is now.”

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Massa will hang up his helmet in F1 at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he leaves Williams to be replaced by rookie Lance Stroll.

POINTS: The F1 Drivers' & Constructors' standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 finale

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