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Smedley: To see the love for Massa was incredible

Felipe Massa may have crashed out of his final Brazilian Grand Prix, but that did not stop fans and teams showing great admiration and love for the Williams driver when he made his way back to the pit lane.

Draped in a Brazilian flag, a tearful Massa walked down the pitlane to be met by a Mercedes guard of honour and the Ferrari crew out in force to greet their former driver, before he joined his family who had come out to meet him.

Williams performance chief Rob Smedley, whose relationship with Massa stretches back to their days toghether at Ferrari, said, “To see all of that, just to see the amount of love for him was incredible.”

“Mercedes is a team he’s never had anything to do with, or been near, and all their guys came out and showed him so much love.”

“All the Ferrari guys came out because he’s so loved down there, but it was still quite incredible. All his family were there and they all surrounded him. It was massively important they were there to support him and carry him through.”

“He’s done such a great job in Formula 1, and such a great job for his country. We’re all just really, really proud of him.

“You’ve got that weird juxtaposition of wanting him to have done well and finish on a real high. But then having seen what we did see, it was then even more special than him finishing in eighth or ninth position,” added Smedley.