Why Felipe Massa just couldn’t stay retired

Updated 9:23 AM EST, Fri December 14, 2018
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi  (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
Neville Hopwood/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:26
Ad Diriyah E-prix preview with Felipe Massa
Singer Ellie Goulding
Sam Bagnall/LAT
Singer Ellie Goulding
Now playing
00:53
Ellie Goulding: Formula E is cooler than F1
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 29: In this handout from FIA Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 1st position, Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, 2nd position, and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 3rd position on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 29: In this handout from FIA Formula E, Antonio Felix da Costa (PRT), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 1st position, Maximilian Günther (DEU), BMW I Andretti Motorsports, 2nd position, and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA), DS Techeetah, DS E-Tense FE20, 3rd position on February 29, 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout/Getty Images)
Now playing
22:16
Supercharged: Da Costa delights Marrakech
Masen
Now playing
01:25
The world's largest concentrated solar farm
Formula E
Now playing
01:37
Where does the lithium for batteries come from?
SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 18: Maximilian Günther of Germany for BMW i Andretti Motorsport team celebrates the victory after the E-Prix Antofagasta Minerals as part the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 on January 18, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout /Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images
SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 18: Maximilian Günther of Germany for BMW i Andretti Motorsport team celebrates the victory after the E-Prix Antofagasta Minerals as part the third round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship 2019/2020 on January 18, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by ABB FIA Formula E/Handout /Getty Images)
Now playing
22:33
Supercharged: Formula E returns in Saudi Arabia and Chile
England's pilot Nick Tandy drives his Porsche 919 Hybrid N°1 during the second qualifying practice session of the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 15, 2017 in Le Mans northwestern France. 
Sixty cars with 180 drivers will participate on June 17 and 18 June at the 85rd "Le Mans 24-hours" endurance race. 
 / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER        (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
England's pilot Nick Tandy drives his Porsche 919 Hybrid N°1 during the second qualifying practice session of the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race, on June 15, 2017 in Le Mans northwestern France. Sixty cars with 180 drivers will participate on June 17 and 18 June at the 85rd "Le Mans 24-hours" endurance race. / AFP PHOTO / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER (Photo credit should read JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:23
'The ultimate beast, insane acceleration'
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 21: Neel Jani of Switzerland driving the (18) Porsche 99X Electric and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on track during practice ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on November 21, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Francois Nel/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 21: Neel Jani of Switzerland driving the (18) Porsche 99X Electric and TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team on track during practice ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on November 21, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Now playing
23:02
Supercharged: Formula E is back
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 23: Alexander Sims of Great Britain driving the (27) BMW iFE.20 and Team BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT on track during Round 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on on November 23, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Francois Nel/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - NOVEMBER 23: Alexander Sims of Great Britain driving the (27) BMW iFE.20 and Team BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT on track during Round 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship - Diriyah E-Prix on on November 23, 2019 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:55
Formula E: How does electric racing work?
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: Mercedes formula-e car is displayed during the first press day at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show on March 5, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
Robert Hradil/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 05: Mercedes formula-e car is displayed during the first press day at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show on March 5, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:20
Germany's 'Big Four' compete for the first time
CNN
Now playing
01:28
Cactus biofuel: Mexico's 'Green Gold'
DS Techeetah
Now playing
00:50
DS Techeetah's electric supercar of the future
pascal wehrlein formula e mahindra supercharged vision spt intl_00000000.jpg
pascal wehrlein formula e mahindra supercharged vision spt intl_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:25
Pascal Wehrlein makes waves in Formula E
Aerial view of the Serrania de Chiribiquete, located in the Amazonian jungle departments of Caqueta and Guaviare, Colombia, on June 7, 2018. - The 2,782,353-hectare Chiribiquete National Park, the largest of Colombia's protected natural parks, is included on the list of 30 proposals from around the world that will be examined at the forty-second session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in late June. The Serranias of Chiribiquete and La Lindosa are among the areas in Colombia that were closed to outsiders during the armed conflict and are now opening up to scientific researchers. (Photo by GUILLERMO LEGARIA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Aerial view of the Serrania de Chiribiquete, located in the Amazonian jungle departments of Caqueta and Guaviare, Colombia, on June 7, 2018. - The 2,782,353-hectare Chiribiquete National Park, the largest of Colombia's protected natural parks, is included on the list of 30 proposals from around the world that will be examined at the forty-second session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in late June. The Serranias of Chiribiquete and La Lindosa are among the areas in Colombia that were closed to outsiders during the armed conflict and are now opening up to scientific researchers. (Photo by GUILLERMO LEGARIA / AFP) (Photo credit should read GUILLERMO LEGARIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:07
Extreme E: 'Blue Planet meets Dakar Rally'
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi  (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
Neville Hopwood/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Felipe Massa officially launches the new SAUDIA Ad Diriyah E-Prix at the Ad Diriyah UNESCO Heritage site Saudi Arabia ahead of the Season 5 Opening race The ABB FIA Formula E Championship on September 25, 2018 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabi (Photo by Neville Hopwood/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:39
Will Formula E merge with Formula One?
FIA Formula E
Now playing
00:51
Formula E attack mode: All you need to know
ABB FIA Formula E
Now playing
01:04
Formula E car vs. the fastest animal
(CNN) —  

After 15 thrilling and intensely demanding years in Formula One, Felipe Massa hung up his racing helmet for good at the end of last season.

During his time in the sport, the Brazilian established himself as one of the most loved and exciting drivers on the grid, amassing a huge following around the globe.

Visit CNN/com/sport for more news, features and videos

With a second retirement – Massa first quit F1 in 2016, only to be lured back for another year – on the horizon, it looked as though the 37-year-old was going to enjoy some well-earned time away from the spotlight.

But no sooner had Massa climbed out of an F1 cockpit than he was signing a contract with Venturi to be its main driver for the 2019 Formula E season.

READ: Felipe Massa races the fastest animal on earth

READ: Formula E 2019 – ‘The most competitive championship in the world’

“I love to race,” Massa told CNN’s Supercharged show at the Venturi launch in Monaco. “And it was the right time to stop Formula One.

“I’m really happy with my decision but I wanted to keep racing, so I think Formula E is the championship that is growing more.

“I like new challenges so it’s definitely a new challenge for me – and I’m looking forward for this new experience in Formula E, especially with the Venturi team.”