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Felipe Massa: Q3 shows I'm not retiring due to lack of speed

Clive Mason/Getty Images

YAS MARINA, Abu Dhabi -- Felipe Massa says making Q3 for his final grand prix proves he is not retiring because he is no longer fast enough for Formula One.

This weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Massa's 250th and final race start before he steps away from the sport, following his retirement announcement in the Monza paddock in September. The Brazilian driver out-qualified Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas in the evening session to make the top ten shootout, eventually qualifying 10th.

Massa is happy with his final Saturday showing and believes it shows he is still competitive in Formula One.

When asked if he was happy to out-qualify his teammate on his final session, he replied: "Definitely it is a good thing, so definitely it is always good to be quick. It is my last qualifying so it is good to finish with a good performance. So I had quite a good qualifying.

"I am happy, my last real qualifying of my career in F1. It is always good to be quick [to show] I am not stopping because of the speed; I am stopping because of other things. It is like a nice gift. I will really concentrate and get ready for the race tomorrow. Hopefully things can be even better tomorrow."

Though he had an emotional send-off at his home race in Brazil after crashing out two weeks ago, which led to an impromptu walk down the pit lane, Massa says the final weekend feels much different.

"Completely different races. For sure Brazil is my home grand prix, and a home grand prix is always a lot of things to do, big expectation, so a lot of events, interviews, jobs, people around you, so definitely here it is a lot more relaxed.

"For sure I feel that it will be my last race tomorrow but it is a lot more relaxed and I am totally ready for the fight like I was in Brazil. Totally ready to finish well, hopefully we can have a good result tomorrow as well."