Felipe Massa has announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of 2017, bringing to a close a successful 15 year career in Grand Prix racing. At 36 years of age the season closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark the final occasion Felipe Massa will sit on a contemporary Formula One grid, closing out a career in Grand Prix races that has seen the popular Brazilian rack up an impressive 267 Grand Prix, 11 race victories, 16 pole positions, 41 podiums, 1160 points and a runners up spot in the 2008 World Championship. Having retired and then returned to the world of Formula One at the end of 2016 as a late replacement for Williams Mercedes bound Vatteri Bottas, Massa has taken the matter into his own hands ahead of his home Grand Prix by finally putting to bed speculation about who will fill the second Williams seat heading into the new season. "As everyone knows, after announcing my retirement from Formula One last year, I agreed to return this season to help Williams when the call came" said Massa of his announcement. "I have now enjoyed four great years with the team, but my career in Formula One will finally come to an end this season. Once more, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time: my wife and my father, my whole family, my manager Nicolas and all my friends, colleagues and sponsors. I would also like to add a huge thank you to all of the fans who have been incredibly supportive and passionate over the years. I take so many great memories with me as I prepare for my final two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and although they will be emotional, I am looking forward to ending on a high note and preparing for a new chapter in my career.” Williams are thought to be assessing options as to who will drive alongside Canadian teenager Lance Stroll in 2018, with Massa, test driver Paul di Resta, Mercedes protégé and Sauber team leader Pascal Wehrlien plus fan favourite Robert Kubica all in with a shout at the best seat left on the 2018 grid. With the announcement of his F1 retirement today the former Ferrari star has removed himself from the running for a drive and very much ramped up the interest around who Williams will choose for the year ahead. Following his retirement from Formula One Massa has made no secret of his desire to continue racing in another series, with a seat in the Brazilian StockCar Series regarded as the most likely destination for one of the most likable drivers on the current Formula One grid. Check out the Formula One sub forum for more news from the world of Grand Prix racing ahead of the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix. Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! RaceDepartment YouTube RaceDepartment Twitter RaceDepartment Facebook RaceDepartment Twitch RaceDepartment Instagram Will you be sad to see the end of Massa's F1 career? Who should Williams sign for next season? Let us know in the comments section below!