Brazilian Grand Prix – Felipe Massa was greeted with a surprise from team sponsor Martini in the Interlagos pitlane on Thursday, as a unique one off livery was revealed for the Brazilian’s final home race. The veteran Brazilian driver retires from Formula 1 in a few weeks time, having decided to bow out on a successful career in the sport since his debut in 2002. He is the first Brazilian driver since the legendary Ayrton Senna to have won on home ground at Interlagos and, to honour his final race at home, Williams & Martini revealed that he will race with a special version of the drinks manufacturer’s livery this weekend.
Rather than saying Martini on the engine cover, it now says MASSA, while the rear wing reads ‘Obrigado’ – Portuguese for ‘Thank You’.
“I’ve always said that I drive the best looking car on the grid, but this takes it to a whole other level,” said an Felipe Massa at the unveiling in the pitlane. He continued: “I’ve never known a sponsor to do this for a driver before. It’s an honour and I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit emotional about it. But it goes to show that because of Martini’s heritage in racing, they are more than just a sponsor. They are a true partner and fan of this beautiful sport. I’ve been lucky to have them as part of my team the last three years.”
Massa becomes the 8th driver to reach 250 Grand Prix starts when he finishes the season in Abu Dhabi later this month.