Felipe Massa enjoyed a memorable final home race in Formula 1 by finishing seventh in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix, paying an emotional farewell to the local fans after a "perfect" race.

Massa confirmed last week he would be retiring from F1 at the end of the season, making Sunday's race at Interlagos his last on home soil, with the Brazilian lining up ninth on the grid for Williams.

Massa made a great start to run sixth behind the safety car early on before passing Fernando Alonso on the restart, and although the recovering Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton were able to battle past through the race, the Williams driver held on to take P7 at the chequered flag.

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"It's so difficult to explain my feelings today," Massa said. "Amazing start, then managed to overtake a few cars after the safety car, managed to overtake Alonso. That was very important for me because I knew he would have a better pace than me. So I managed to keep him behind.

"I was so emotional when I finished the race. It was a very difficult race for me. For me the race was like many victories that I took. I drove a perfect race from the beginning to the end, I managed the tyres, managed everything around the car with the pace I had. Today it was definitely like a victory."

Massa waved a Brazilian flag aloft from his car on the cool-down lap, as well as receiving a heart-melting message from his son, Felipinho, over team radio. Race officials then invited Massa up onto the podium after the race, where he received chants and cheers from the crowd.

"It's so amazing to finish the race and feel the emotions of the people after such an amazing race," Massa said.

"I knew that maybe last year, I had so much love and emotion from the people. But I didn't finish the race like I wanted. Today I finished the race like I wanted. That's why I did another year!

"It was very special to have my son on the radio, but also my family here, all the fans, everybody supporting me. It was a race that I will never forget. For sure I will miss all of you guys, for everything that we've had together.

"Thank you very much for all of you that we've been together for 16 years."