Felipe Massa will be allowed to keep the car Williams gave him as a gift for his retirement, even though he isn’t retired any more.

Before his last-but-not-last race in Abu Dhabi in 2016 Claire Williams told Massa that he could keep the car he’d raced (and crashed) in Brazil as a parting gift. The car had a special livery and was a fitting gift for the popular Brazilian.

'Felipe baby stay cool, we're letting you keep your F1 car!'
‘Felipe baby stay cool, we’re letting you keep your F1 car!’

But when it emerged that Williams were tempting Massa back out of retirement, there was only one question on everyone’s lips: will he get to keep that car?

The answer is yes. When asked about it, he said: “It’s mine, it’s mine! I saw the car in the factory two days ago, it’s got my name on the side.” Well, that settles it then! As any good schoolkid knows, there are two ways to make certain something is yours. One is to write your name on it, and the other is to lick it. There’s no evidence (yet) to suggest he’s also done the latter.

So, he’s definitely getting to keep the car. That’s pretty cool, because although his retirement makes the events of that race slightly less meaningful it was still an absolutely incredible moment, and it’ll be a nice reminder for him of that special day.

“What happened in the last two races – especially in Brazil – I had an amazing feeling. It was the perfect stopping feeling,” Massa continued. “And then everything changed, and my heart was pushing me to carry on. I followed that. It was a little surprise when Claire called me to ask if I’d stop my retirement, but definitely I’m ready and motivated. 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.”

His 'final' Brazilian GP was one of the great moments in F1 history
His ‘final’ Brazilian GP was one of the great moments in F1 history

Of course, you’d expect him to say something like that, but it was kinda clear in the first place that his retirement was just a case of jumping before he was pushed. Who knows, with the pressure off and the prospect of a bonus fun year, maybe we’ll get to see some of the old Massa spark that was somewhat missing in 2016.

I wonder if he’ll be cheeky enough to ask for another car at the end of the year?