Felipe Massa


  • São Paulo, Brazil Place of Birth
  • 25 April 1981 Date of Birth
  • 2002 Australian Grand Prix F1 Debut
  • Williams Current/Last Team

Felipe Massa fell in love with karting at the age of eight and spent the next seven years competing in national and international championships. In 1998, he transitioned to single-seaters, entering the Brazilian Formula Chevrolet Championship. He won the series the following year and then captured the Euro F3000 title in 2001, with six wins in eight races.

BornFelipe Massa
25 April 1981
São Paulo, Brazil

This success naturally attracted the attention of Formula One teams. In 2002, Massa secured a race seat with Sauber, partnering with Nick Heidfeld. Despite showing clear talent, Massa made several rookie mistakes and incurred a one-race suspension, causing him to miss the 2002 US Grand Prix and consequently dropped by the team at the end of the season. The following season, he was a test driver for Ferrari before returning to Sauber, where he raced alongside Giancarlo Fisichella in 2004 and Jacques Villeneuve in 2005.

Massa lost his seat when BMW bought out Sauber, which was a blessing. Ferrari offered him a spot alongside Michael Schumacher at Maranello. In his first season with Ferrari in 2006, Massa earned his first career podium at the 2006 European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and his first victory at the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix. He won again in Brazil, becoming the first Brazilian to win his home race since Ayrton Senna.

In 2008, Massa won the Brazilian GP again but narrowly missed out on the world title. For a brief moment, he was world champion until Lewis Hamilton secured the necessary fifth place at the final corner, creating the iconic image of a proud but emotional Massa on his home podium.

The following year, Massa suffered a severe injury in Hungary when debris from another car struck his helmet during practice. His condition was initially life-threatening but stable, and he made a full recovery. Although he missed the rest of the season, he made an emotional return to Sao Paulo to wave the chequered flag at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Massa’s frustration at being seen as the perpetual wingman to senior teammates, including Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, peaked during the 2010 German Grand Prix. His race engineer, Rob Smedley, infamously radioed, “Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understood that message?”—a coded team order to let Alonso pass. Massa left Ferrari at the end of 2013 and joined Williams, where he secured five more podiums before announcing his retirement at the end of 2016.

However, after the unexpected retirement of Nico Rosberg following his 2016 championship win, Massa was called back to Williams for the 2017 season to fill the seat alongside Lance Stroll, as Valtteri Bottas moved to Mercedes. He retired at the end of the season, with his last race at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Felipe Massa Formula One World Championship career

F1 Career2002, 2004–2017
TeamsSauber, Ferrari, Williams
Car number19
Entries272 (269 starts)
Championships0 (2nd in 2008)
Career points1167
Pole positions16
Fastest laps15
First entry2002 Australian Grand Prix
First win2006 Turkish Grand Prix
Last win2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
Last entry2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix



Driver Nationality Current/Last Team F1 Debut Status
German Renault 2000 Australian Grand Prix Retired
Italian Ferrari 1996 Australian Grand Prix Retired
Canadian Sauber 1996 Australian Grand Prix F1 Legend
German Mercedes 1991 Belgian Grand Prix F1 Legend
Finnish Alfa Romeo 2001 Australian Grand Prix F1 Legend
Spanish Aston Martin 2001 Australian Grand Prix Current
Finnish Sauber 2013 Australian Grand Prix Current
Canadian Aston Martin 2017 Australian Grand Prix Current


Team Nationality Debut Season Status
Sauber Swiss 1993 Current
Ferrari Italian 1950 Current
Williams British 1978 Current