Likely by accident, and likely about 10 years later than he would have wanted, now un-retired Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa discovered the best possible way to live out an F1 career: just keep retiring. If didn’t notice, the retirement gifts in F1 are a little better than your standard fruit basket.
As we were reminded of when 35-year-old Massa “left” F1 at the end of 2016, retiring from the sport can be a grand event—unless you’re like Nico Rosberg, who decided to tell us all the news one random Monday after he won the 2016 championship. But if you give everyone ample warning, they’ll make you feel special when you leave.
Since Massa did that, his sponsor, Martini, put Massa’s name in place of its own on its logo for his final F1 race in his home country of Brazil back in November. Here’s the fun part: Massa’s Williams F1 team gave him the car as a gift.
But surprise! After less than two months of being a retired F1 driver, Massa is back at Williams F1 to race in 2017. And according to Autosport, he’s “adamant” that keeping the gifted car is part of his deal in returning to the team:
“It’s mine, it’s mine,” said Massa when asked if he got to keep the car.
“I saw the car in the factory two days ago, it’s got my name on the side. ...
“I was not retiring from racing, and I was looking at a different category, but then everything changed - and I still feel not so old, and ready to come back again.”
Massa has it figured out. Go home, sit around for two months and reflect on your life only to realize that you’re “not so old” after all. Then, come back and make sure that you get to keep your retirement gifts. Everybody wins, kind of.