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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  11 Nov 2013   |  5:35 pm GMT  |  280 comments

Two more 2014 Formula One seats have been cemented today as Williams announced that Felipe Massa will partner Valtteri Bottas in the Grove squad.

Massa’s future has been uncertain since he learned of being replaced at Ferrari by Kimi Raikkonen, but the Brazilian insists that he had been in extended talks with a number of other teams, including Lotus and McLaren.

For what is described as a “multi-year” contract, the driver has been brought in to bring Williams forward from the ninth best team in the pit lane in what has been a difficult five years for the team.

And by retaining Bottas they have a talent that can be assisted by Massa’s experience. Bottas has beaten outgoing Pastor Maldonado in head-to-head qualifying performances, impressive considering race-winner Maldonado’s forte comes in qualifying.

The news indicates that Maldonado is headed for Lotus, as suggested in Abu Dhabi.

“We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2014 driver line-up and welcome Felipe into the Williams family,” said Williams Team Principal, Frank Williams. “He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track; he also brings a wealth of experience as we begin a new chapter in our story. Valtteri is a valued member of the team and I’m pleased he was able to demonstrate his talent in tricky conditions in Montréal. There is much more to come from him.”

Williams now become only the fifth team to fully announce their 2014 driver line-up, after Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso. And Massa believes that his experience can bring the team through a tough period.

“Williams is one of the most successful and important teams of all time in Formula One,” said Massa. “When I was a kid, I always dreamed about racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and I’m glad to be signing with another icon of the sport following my time at Ferrari. It is also nice to remember that some of the best Brazilian drivers raced for Williams and cemented a strong national link with the team. With such a major change of regulations in 2014, I hope my experience will be useful in helping the team in its effort to move on from a difficult period.”

For Bottas it offers the opportunity for another year to establish himself in F1 after finding his feet in his debut season.

“I’m very happy to be staying with the team as I embark on my second season in Formula One,” said Bottas. “I have known everyone here for many years, firstly as a test driver and now as a race driver, so it feels like home. I have faith in Williams and I know we can do so much better in the future than our current performance shows. I am looking forward to having Felipe as my teammate. He is a quick and experienced driver and together we will be pushing to the maximum to improve the car and get as many points as we can next season.”

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280 Comments
  1. jee1 says:

    “Williams now become only the third team to fully announce their 2014 driver line-up, after Mercedes and Ferrari”…

    Didn’t Red Bull and Toro Rosso also announce their driver line ups??

    1. Grant H says:

      Add macca to that line up …. Autosport have just reported they have dropped perez for magnussen!! Cool stuff he sounds a real exciting prospect

    2. Nedder says:

      Er… Yes, the article says ‘the fifth team’…

    3. Cliff says:

      Read again!!

    4. deancassady says:

      Yeah, but more interesting than that, Magnusun at McLaren means Lotus could get Perez.

      Pre-empting James’ blog on the topic, the most meaningful potyential, from the Magnusun deal, should it be so, is the availability of Perez, who must be an immediate shortlist prospect for Lotus, and hopefully will be there if it comes down to him and Maldonado.
      Go Perez go!
      He’s a great driver.

    5. Scuderia McLaren says:

      “Felipe, Valteri is faster than you…”

      Wonder how that would go down?

      1. Le Mister says:

        Hmmm ….Felipe beat Kimi…… Felipe is very underrated….

    6. Hudson says:

      Nice one! I think Mr Allen updated the report because when I read the report it already mentioned the five teams!

    7. Cedgy says:

      Read the article mate, it says “fifth” team to announce their driver lineup

  2. S2K says:

    I am surprised about the rumors linking Maldonado to Lotus. After Williams, now Lotus is hiring pay drivers. Where is Formula One heading to if top teams are hiring pay drivers?

    1. forzaminardi says:

      Williams are hardly a ‘top team’ now though, are they?

      1. S2K says:

        Perhaps not if you judge the results, however Williams is still a strong brand in F1 and many drivers will love to drive there.

    2. Sebee says:

      Rich playboys plaything. Oh and by the way, it has always been that way.

      1. S2K says:

        Correct me if I am wrong but a top team never hired the services of a pay driver before.

      2. Sebee says:

        I am correcting you! :-)

        Alonso, while likely not considered a pay driver by you has huge sponsorship backing in the form of Santander. I assure you the balance of power changes significantly if that purse of money doesn’t follow Alonso around, and he likely doesn’t drive Ferrari. If he does go to McLaren in 2015 it is not only because he wants to. It may very well be because his sponsor wants team title sponsorship a la Santander McLaren Honda. So I put to you that while his Dad or rich uncle (not sure he had either) are not following him around with bags of money so he can drive, there is a bag of corporate funds following him. How is that different from Maldonado for example?

        While we’re at it, how far away from pay driver is Vettel? He has Red Bull money backing him, right? Althought, here it’s a bit cleaner as it’s all from one pocket. But I remind you Red Bull makes drinks, not cars. So what are they doing in F1? Marketing. Which means they are a sponsor/owner spending a marketing budget same as Santander spends on Alonso.

        Webber? Ditto on the Red Bull Sugar Free money.

        Kimi? Well, he’s been paying his way with points haul mostly. But now at Ferrari isn’t it Shell and other sponsors picking up the tab thus making his drive possible? He wouldn’t be driving a Ferrari if sponsors were not picking up the tab for their future sales man.

        Bottom line, teams look for any possible way to cover the cost of a driver. If a driver has means to cover that via rich Dad or sponsor money he can find a seat as we’ve seen over and over again. Perez is out because he has no Telmex money that was hoped for. I bet Maldonado will land on his feet with that nice purse of sponsor money. It may not be black and white pay driver issue, as a middle man may “clean” the money and thus our preceptions. But fact is, driving skills are hardly enough for many past years. If you want to be an F1 driver in a top team, you need a sponsor package in tow. Then Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, all doors are open to you.

        Good? Bad? Sad? Depends on how romantic your view of F1 is.

      3. Sebee says:

        Oh yes, one more thing…

        Did you see RUSH yet? Did you see Niki arrive with bags of money? Did you see James Hunt not find a drive because sponsor backing? I fully believe those points to be factual.

        What year was that? Yup, simple business model. It’s been going on since before you were an F1 fan. Stop romanticizing and being upset about pay drivers. It’s just a fact of life. You think Schumi wasn’t backed by sponsors? Mercedes? Marlboro? Shell? Then a point came where they just wanted a piece of Schumi so they all wanted to sponsor them. They got to pick and choose highest revenue sponsors. But don’t think for a moment that Schumi’s success wasn’t in big part contributed to by solid business deals from sponsors first. No money, no success.

      4. Tim says:

        @Sebee

        Well written and, ahem, on the money ;-)
        I particularly liked your good, bad or sad line.

    3. ManOnWheels says:

      Lotus need the money and Maldonado wants their car; plus he is not the slowest man on the planet. Everybody wins. I don’t see anything wrong with that, do you?

      1. S2K says:

        It is about ethics and the message they transmit. Did I mention ethics? Well, there are no ethics in Formula One, I agree.

      2. ManOnWheels says:

        I don’t see an ethical problems with hiring a fast driver, regardless on how much money he brings. And it’s been like that since day one in Formula 1. Even multiple champions like Lauda and Schumacher bought themselves into Formula 1, so did several other fast guys like Berger. Even Alonso brought Telefonica to Minardi. The message has never changed: Just being fast is seldom enough. There are a lot of fast drivers out there, so you need to bring something extra.

        But: The cases where drivers make their way into formula one, that were just smart on the business side while being slow in the car, like Taki Inoue, have become very rare.

      3. Sebee says:

        You want ethical fulfilling sport?

        Take a soccer ball and go kick it around with your kids. It’s the only pure sport you will experience. Also good, throw baseball around with kids. Go swimming. Run. etc.

        Every professional sport is money and marketing. Hence why it’s called professional sport – as in people in it to make money. Welcome to reality. :-)

      4. Sebee says:

        I just got a thought…

        What’s ethical about a man getting paid $30M a year to drive an awesome car around in circles? How is that more right in our minds than a many paying $30M a year to drive an awesome car around in circles? :-)

    4. Equin0x says:

      I don’t believe it news have been spreading Mclaren has signed Magnusson for next year! Sure he is fast and probably a bit faster thsn Perez over 1 lap but why not Hulkenberg!?? Whats worse is that Perez is now heading towards FI and that was Hulk’s last chance for a seat! Unless FI sack both Di Resta and Sutil then Hulk hasn’t got a drive what a farce this is! I mean Maldonado looks to join Lotus with Massa at Williams I just don’t believe probably rhe fastest driver in F1 aside from vettel can’t even get a seat.

      1. Martin says:

        There are a few permutations – Quantum gives Genii a stack of cash and Hulkenberg drives for Enstone – I’ve no idea if the Lotus name will stick. Sauber hasn’t nailed down the Russian money yet, so in that instance Maldonado+PDVSA could end up there. If Sauber gets the Moscow millions then Hulkenberg could stay at Sauber, traditionally a stronger car than Force India.

        There’s no guarantee that Perez will get a seat next year. He is damaged goods to a degree – he has a bit of a reputation of being technically a bit weak and arrogant and for two years he’s had the “not quick enough” stamp. Telmex $ could be the main incentive for a team to have him. Kovalainen went from McLaren to a brand new team that wanted experienced drivers. For Perez it is about the size of the money he can bring.

        Whitmarsh basically said that Hulkenberg is too heavy for the 2014 McLaren-Mercedes to be on the pace. The suggestion seems to be that that Mercedes might be overweight.

        Personally I’m hoping the confidence around Maldonado if purely based on a deal if Quantum falls through and that Quantum comes up with the $ and Nico gets the gig.

      2. S2K says:

        That’s exactly my point. Talented drivers with world championship potential like Hulkenberg are out just because there are drivers who have a truck full of green banknotes behind them.

      3. Sebee says:

        How do you develop talent?

        Is university education free? Neither is racing education. Money gets to drive, no-money sits in the grand stands. :-)

    5. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      > Where is Formula One heading to if top teams are hiring pay drivers?
      I guess finding the fastest pay drivers so teams can stay afloat while the CVC shareholders monster their F1 profits?

      I’d like to take it one stage further and ask where is F1 heading after CVC and genuinely what will be likely to happen with F1 when inevitably Bernie dies?

  3. Matthew Kable says:

    Way to go Felipe! Excellent news. It will be a pleasure to be able to see you on the F1 grid in 2014 and beyond.

    1. Grant H says:

      +100000

    2. H.Guderian says:

      Felipe adds nothing to Willians.
      A bad, bad call from the team.

    3. All revved-up says:

      Are Massa and Smedley a good combination for car development?

      What Williams needs badly is some Ferrari know how improving their car.

      Would be better if it was Red Bull know how, but I guess Webber’s not interested.

    4. Lohani says:

      +20000

      All the best to Felipe! It will be a pleasure to see him win a few races also.

      1. Tim says:

        Do really expect FM to win race(s) for Williams? Can’t see that happening anytime soon myself :-(

  4. Rayz says:

    I’m not surprised that Williams have opted for Massa, he clearly has one lap pace and it will be interesting to see if he can rediscover his 2008/2009 form.

    I can’t help feeling sad for the young drivers however. Yet another potential slot is taken by an experienced driver. For my money, the likes of James Calado, A Felix Da Costa, Sam Bird etc deserve a chance in F1 and they are not getting a chance.
    Maldonado and his money will occupy another slot and Hulkenberg could well end up with nothing at the rate we are going.

    1. MISTER says:

      To be honest, I would rather have Felipe in F1 than Max Chilton..

    2. Limelee says:

      Have to say I disagree with you about the veterans taking up spots the young drivers could have. Personally I feel unless you have won the GP2 or similar feeder formula championship then you haven’t earned the right to take the spot of a proven talent on the grid. Feeder series should provide an excellent proving ground for new talent, but when, as this year, F1 takes 3 drivers + the champ not being able to race, it seriously devalues the feeder series, and also the F1 Grid. If there’s someone in GP2 with an honest claim that they are better than a current F1 driver, then f1 can’t claim to be the pinnacle of Motorsport. Really, only the champions of the various feeder series should even be considered for F1. But that said, Fernando Alonso got his foot in the door as a pay driver at minardi. Now look at him!

      1. Martin says:

        I agree with the general idea, but I feel it is a bit simplistic. Not all GP2/FR3.5/F3/GP3 teams and race engineers are created equal.

        I think a reasonable example is Lewis Hamilton’s two seasons in F3. In the first he was very good for a rookie, but a change of teams meant he won almost every race. An excellent driver combining with a car that was the best engineered. I believe the key change was the change of the car not the calendar.

        Vettel is another example. His first F3 team believes BMW made a mistake switching for 2006. He was also being run in other series as he was ‘developed’. He was promoted to Friday testing based on talent.

        The real problem is Bernie selling off F1 to CVC. At that point Bernie’s own passion for F1 was overtaken by his need to increase revenues for CVC. The financial model for the smaller teams has been broken ever since. The extra money all goes to the top teams and the smaller teams have to do 20 races rather than 16-17. With what we have now, the smaller teams need money, so the question is why can’t the good drivers find money? In certain cases they can, such as Grosjean. The South Americans are able to get nationality associated funding.

        The idea that the best/fastest drivers in the world are in F1 is pretty idealistic. Drivers like Scott Dixon, Will Power and Dario Franchitti don’t seem too different to Mark Webber to me. Look at Bruno Senna in GTs this year – he’s doing okay but not setting the world on fire with Aston Martin. Compare him to the other two Sebastiens – Loeb and Ogier. Jimmie Johnson is a pretty handy driver in a very competitive series. Andy Green seems to have the fastest driver title locked up at the moment. Schumacher (Tony) has a good claim on being the quickest driver in the world.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      2. Limelee says:

        You make an interesting point, that there are lots of good drivers out there not in f1 who have been successful in there respective careers. But when you start comparing the greats of various racing formulas you end up in a discussion about which series is best, more competitive etc. I doubt very much that you would even be on this site f you didn’t think F1 was the premier racing series in the world. Champ Car/Indycar/NASCAR are also not considered Junior Formula so it’s really not right to suggest the drivers there all wish to be in F1 in the first place.

        And it’s really nothing new to have pay drivers on the grid, go back to the early to mid 90′s and you’ll find dozens of small teams struggling to make ends meet and needing drivers to foot the bills for them. The top teams will always be richer, not because of prize money, but because they have more fans, sell more merchandise, attract better sponsors an have far better business models.

        I want to see the best drivers from lower formula attracting the sponsors so they can move into F1, and arriving with a Buzz about them and an excitement to see what they can do. I don’t want to see GP2 getting raided for anyone with sponsorship who has managed a win.

    3. Equin0x says:

      Do these ‘young’ drivers uou mentioned really deserve a chance then? Based on what exactly? They couldn’t win their catagories and are nothing more thsn Chilton and Kvyat deserved his slot above Di Costa and certainly Calado, maybe Bird deserves a seat at Marussia instead of Chilton to see what he could do if he can bring some sponsors but none of them hss set the world alight, I’d bet Maldonado would beat any of them anyway even before we talk about the money he brings, I agree about Hulkenberg he will get his drive with Force India and then probably onto Mclaren in the Honda era.

      1. H.Guderian says:

        Does Felipe really deserve a chance then? Based on what exactly?

      2. Equin0x says:

        Based on he practically won the championship in 2008 and beat Raikkonen with the same car, Massa also beat other world champions like Villeneuve and gave Schumacher a good run in 2006, also have you seen his recent quali performances? Making Alonso look very ordinary indeed, plus Massa is a multiple race winner in F1 has any of them wannabe rookies claim any of these attributes on their CV? I doubt the likes of Bird or Calado will ever do anything in F1,at best they’re slightly better than Chilton, completely useless.

    4. Omniprescient says:

      @ Rayz: It’s not all doom and gloom in F1 these days. Remember STRs chose DanK from their YDP, and DanR got promoted to RBR as well. Now if Macca co-opts their YDP jewel KevM, that’s another good sign for those who want to see progress based according to their merits. Neither is FM a pay-driver, regardless of how much money he brings along to my beloved Williams. Admittedly, Hulk and Maldo cases are shamefull, but on the balance it is not doom and gloom…

  5. Anil says:

    Delighted for Bottas as he’d outqualified his team mate this year and he seemed like a great guy at the FOTA fan forum in London this year.

    Mixed feelings about Felipe..will he spring to life in a new team? He’s been an amazing part of the Ferrari family but he’s been mentally destroyed by Alonso, going as far back as China 2010 when Alonso overtook him in the pit lane. He’s shown flashes of form since but has massively lacked consistency, ironically like Williams. On the plus side, a new environment combined with his small size means he could thrive next year. Good luck to him.

    James, do you think Hulk will now go back to Force India? Seems to be his only option.

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s running out of options. He may end up with nothing!

      Force India the best bet given the powertrain for 2014

      1. deancassady says:

        James: are you assuming the Maldonado deal is done?

      2. Apu says:

        Why not lotus? I thought the new deal that the team had going through could offer enough financial stability to reel in the Hulk?

        Also, who is replacing Perez?

      3. Tenno1868 says:

        Hülkenberg is the most ill-advised driver in F1. He needs proper management. It is a shame to see how the career of one of the most talented drivers is going up in flames.

      4. Omniprescient says:

        @ Tenno1868: It is not about advisers/managers… There are other more important factors, IMHO.

      5. Equin0x says:

        As I’ve said with neemws of Magnusson signing for Mclaren and Perez looking likely to be signed for FI it leaves Hulk out in the cold, arguarbly one of the fastest driver in F1 can’t even get a drive and there’s deadwoods like Di Resta, Rosberg, Button, Massa and even Hamilton who none of them has been standouts for years or can bring in big money but all seem like they are chosen by the teams by default.

      6. Wellbalanced says:

        Let’s not get too overexcited about Hulk… 18 months ago people were saying similar things about Perez

      7. KRB says:

        What’s the deal with Lotus and their engine supplier for next year? Has to be Renault, right? How could they switch this late in the game? JA, do you have any insights into what they’re planning? Maybe they’re just looking for a 1-2 yr deal, so they can see the lay of the land?

        Also, what info has Pirelli sent to the teams to this date, that the teams will incorporate into their designs? A story from yesterday was that Pirelli wants more info from the teams, to help them with the 2014 tires. On the one hand, I can understand the teams being cagey, but if you’re the only team that provides info, then Pirelli basically has to model their tire to your car. Would seem to be a good thing, no?

    2. F12&3 says:

      I believe Rob Smedley is off to Williams too so we may still hear ‘felipe baby’ on the radio feed. I think the 2 of them are a great combination a I hope Williams can start producing the hardware to get these guys to where they should be on the grid (top 10)

      1. Martin says:

        The earlier suggestion was that Smedley was getting a promotion from race engineer by moving to Williams.

    3. Scott says:

      It would be a travesty for F1 if the Hulk does not end up in a seat for next year.

    4. Elie says:

      You are only as good as your last race and Felipe was ahead if Fernando before Ferrari moved Felipe out of the way — yet again !

    5. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Force India better sign di Resta and Hulk, quite simply they deserve the seats.

      If they do I’d say many fans, me included, will be supporting them for going for the best drivers.

      If they do they’ll hopefully maximise their points haul and thump the other mid-fielders.

    6. hero_was_senna says:

      I have heard that Hulk may be signed to Ferrari as a reserve driver for 2014.

      Reading between the lines, it could be to secure him as Alonso’s replacement if he leaves for 2015.

  6. Wellbalanced says:

    I know this is off topic, but:

    On the subject of Perez, can someone explain to me why McLaren view him so poorly? Button is a WDC, and especially in qualifying, but also in race pace, Perez has shown well enough against his teammate. Where he seems to lack is in finishing, both over a race distance and dicing, but that surely can be honed. I’m a Button fan, but I do feel the young Mexican is being unfairly malaigned. I mean, look at Abu Dhabi, Perez scores points, Button bins it first lap, manages to save some tyres, and Whitmarsh (implicitly) slates Perez and (explicitly) praises Button. What’s going on????

    1. Rayz says:

      Short answer is that McLaren are looking for the next big star, someone who will take the team to new heights. It has become very clear over the course of the season that although Perez is a close match for Jenson, he is not going to win them a world championship. Results and data have proven is just not quick enough. No point giving the guy another year when they think they have the next Hamilton in young Mag.

      Don’t get me wrong though, Sergio has done alright, its just that McLaren are looking for a star.

      1. Paul D says:

        Very good assessment. I think that is exactly Mclaren’s thought process.

    2. Sebee says:

      Big part of the story is this:

      McLaren is losing Vodafone sponsorship end of this season. There was supposed to be a Mexican GP and McLaren hired Perez with hope to get Carlos Slim Telmex to sponsor McLaren as a title sponsor in place of Voda. But Slim is no fool, Mexican GP is not 100%, and Perez is OK, and so that play by McLaren doesn’t appear to be panning out. Hence, Perez seat may be free.

      Now, Santander always wanted title sponsorship, but I don’t think they got it at McLaren and they don’t have it at Ferrari because Marlboro owns the space. And so Santander may be now tempted to go back to McLaren (with Alonso) to get team title sponsorship. All made more appealing by Honda joining McLaren.

      At least that’s how I read it based on stories. I’m not a reporter with contacts so it’s all speculation of course.

      1. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        Perhaps Santander feel they have had enough of F1 sponsorship?

      2. Sebee says:

        You think so?

        To me it feels like they feel they don’t have enough. Not until every race winner trophy looks like a lame flame!

    3. Grant H says:

      In abu dhabi perez only finished approx 10 seconds ahead of jenson (jenson did an extra stop) meaning perez’s strategy should have yielded a better result (he under performed). On the whole jenson had out qualified perez, jenson is not one of the fastest drivers in terms of pure pace, Im personnally more excited about the prospect if magnusson

    4. J Hancock says:

      Perez sponsors (supposedly) aren’t paying up, Perez himself hasn’t scored enough points. Button has had two bad races in a row and Perez has had two good, but that has only elevated Perez to just over half Button’s points.
      .
      I feel Perez is being dealt with harshly, but ultimately he has failed to assert himself against Button this year. If he had matched Button for points and results (as he was looking like doing in the first third of the season) Perez’ future would not seemingly hinge on his sponsors.

    5. AuraF1 says:

      The fact in Abu Dhabi seems to be that Button recovered 23 seconds over the race against Perez (or alternatively you could say Perez dropped 23 seconds against Button). McLaren think Button is a poor qualifier but an excellent racer, and the class of the field in changeable conditions (which to be fair he has shown). What McLaren seem to be after is someone with raw speed who can learn from Button and then replace him in a few years.

      Essentially what the team are saying is they would rather have someone with raw speed who can out qualify Button but can learn race craft from JB, as opposed to someone with race skills but lack of speed.

      As much as I’m a fan of JB he has got places DESPITE his lack of one lap pace. It’s generally easier to take a fast rookie and teach them new skills than a slow one. And Perez is slower than Button. He’s not likely to find much speed. If JB were closer to retirement they might have kept Perez but with drivers like Webber (and Schumschers come back) showing an extended career is back in vogue, JB will want to stick around to at least 2016.

    6. Limelee says:

      I think it’s not one thing but a combination. The biggest problem Perez has is that he doesn’t bring anything to the team that Jenson doesn’t already. He’s also not consistent enough, his performances and results are far more erratic than Jensons. And I think some of it is the Hangover from Hamilton. Hamilton would nearly always beat Jenson in Qyalifying, so much so that Jenson would tend to set up differently most of the time and find his result another way. Jenson and Hamilton both learned from each other, I doubt Sergio has taught jenson anything this year. Finally, I think the biggest reason is that McLaren haven’t secured any sponsorships based on Perez being there. If your not producing on track, and your not adding value, then you aren’t worth keeping!

    7. Emmo says:

      I think the answer lies in who he replaced. That’s the level they want in a new driver: the next big thing. They already have a Button. They want someone faster than Button.

    8. John S says:

      I thought exactly the same until I read an article on BBC “McLaren consider Magnusson switch”.

      Perez was slower over a race distance than Button who had a damaged car and often stuck in traffic.

    9. chris green says:

      mclaren blew it when they signed perez instead of hulk. then they would have been well positioned to dump button and sign alonso for ’15.

      1. Stephen says:

        They blew it big time! If they’d signed the Hulk last year they could have promoted Magnussen in 2015 and they wouldn’t need to go chasing after Alonso again!

    10. Steven M says:

      It kind of shows you how the see Button…

    11. na1nsxr says:

      Button is not in the top tier of speed as far as drivers go, but he maintains 2nd tier speed with good reliability and the occasional outperformance. I think that is a fair assessment of the kind of driver Button is, so there is no use saying Perez is “as fast”, because that is not what makes Button good. What makes Button good is that he is kind of fast, but has the stuff you say Perez lacks, finishing and dicing. Button brings in the points and delivers performances consistent with the car he is given, rarely outdriving or underdriving the potential of his machinery. The fact that Perez is competitive with him in pace means nothing. In the big picture Perez is about Button-speed with less reliability.

      1. Wellbalanced says:

        I think we are undervaluing Button’s speed here- in an on-song car (I.e. First half of 2009, when he obliterated all, including teammate, just like Vettel is now) he was mighty. Easy to forget, but he was

    12. Ronnie says:

      Don’t think this has anything to do with team’s decision, but from other driver’s reaction- Perez made button scream in Bahrain, made Kimi want to punch him in Monaco, made Vettel “cry” in Japan, and made Rosberg ready to explode somewhere. And those are just the ones that I remember.

    13. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      I suspect Perez was hired to try to lock in sponsorship with companies associated with Carlos Slim in advance of the Mexican GP in ’14. However, with the Honda involvement locked in, they probably feel this is no longer necessary. Given Jensen’s Japanese popularity, the Honda association and a race in Japan, they may be looking to focus on corporate ties in Japan.

      I think ’14 will be another wilderness year for the team due to Mercedes likely reducing their support. This means they can blood Magnussen in ’14 and have him ready for the new Honda ’15 year. A good showing in ’15 will be important to Honda due to the circumstances of their previous departure from the sport. Hence rolling another year with Perez and having a rookie in ’15 would be riskier.

    14. Equin0x says:

      Well look at the points tally… explains it all really.

    15. Andrew J says:

      I don’t think they rate him poorly as such, just not good enough. A subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless.

      Whilst he’s shown good qualifying pace he has generally lagged behind Button – the points difference is plain to see.

      Perez is about the same size and weight as Hamilton, about 7kg lighter than Button, which should equate to about a quarter second a lap advantage, but that advantage isn’t there.

      Button is not an ace qualifier, but his car care, racecraft and consistency are sound.

      What McLaren need to get back is someone with Hamilton’s speed to do the fast qualifying bit and charge round the track. That may lead to the odd scrape or DNF, but in combination with Button’s arguably safer, incident free drives it hedges the bets for McLaren very nicely indeed.

      1. All revved-up says:

        Don’t think there’s a weight advantage. Perez’s car will carry 7kgs of ballast to bring it up to minimum weight.

        Better weight distribution perhaps. But that’s not the same thing as being 7kgs lighter.

  7. K says:

    His career is identical to Rubens.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      Not quite – remember Jordan and Honda.

    2. Sasidharan says:

      Hope ‘Multi-Year deal’ will be different from Barichello.

    3. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      Not his pre-Ferrari F1 career.

  8. krakinho says:

    As far as I know Red Bull announced their lineup as well.
    As for Massa, I guess he’ll do for williams as much as Barrichello did.
    His experience accounts for pretty much nothing given the magnitude of change for next season.
    He’s only upper hand and reason why Williams hired him is if he had done (and has knowledge of) extensive simulation for Ferrari’s next year car

    1. Simmo says:

      His experience accounts for even more given the magnitude

    2. Laurence H says:

      I don’t think next year’s changes negate the usefulness of experience. i think the opposite is true. Massa has many years of driving different cars to draw on. I’d rather have someone with that knowledge who is used to the pressures of F1, than a novice.

    3. MISTER says:

      “His experience accounts for pretty much nothing given the magnitude of change for next season.”

      I think it’s the other way around.
      Given that the regulations change so much, an experienced driver can identify the problems easier than one which doesn’t even know where to look for. Experienced drivers like Felipe had to deal with this kind of situations before, that means their insight and feedback is much greater than a rookie or someone which only has 2 season in F1. Think about it.

  9. Grant says:

    Very happy for Massa…

    Maldonaldo wouldn’t leave Williams for Sauber, so that move to Lotus is now obvious.

    1. BigHaydo says:

      So that means that Maldonado and Grosjean will be in the same team? Dear God!

      1. binhost says:

        +10000

  10. Luke says:

    James, the investor guy at Lotus mentioned Nico Hulkenberg specifically when he announced the deal. Is it not happening after all?

    It would be a shame if they took Pastor instead of Nico.

    1. Charith says:

      I agree, I noticed that the investors were quoted in another article as aiming for Hulkenberg specifically, and it’d be nothing short of a travesty if they end up picking Maldonado instead.

      Absurd!

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        Just google the investor’s name (Mansoor Ijaz) and make up your own mind.

      2. Quest says:

        I think that if the investment goes through then Hulk will find himself in Lotus.

        The indication that Maldonado is likely to find himself in Lotus is also indicative that the financial deal has fallen through and that Lotus needs Maldonaldo’s dollars.

        As a result Hulk is looking increasingly without a drive unless Force India picks him up.

      3. So does this mean that Lotus do not feel the investor will come through and actually invest – rather they pick a driver with a decent backing to keep funds coming in.

    2. Grant H says:

      Gutted if hulk gets overlooked, dont rate mine clearance maldonado :-(

    3. RodgerT says:

      The investor guy needs to actually come up with some money before he gets to have influence on driver selection and so far that hasn’t happened.

    4. Yak says:

      I saw the same thing. So Hulkenberg wants to go to Lotus (their money dramas aside, it’s the only real step up on offer), Eric Boullier wants Hulkenberg, the Quantum wants Hulkenberg…

      … so why are we still saying Maldonado is lined up for Lotus?

    5. Emmo says:

      Maldonado is no mug. He won a race in a midfield car. Hulk hasn’t done that. Hulk has to just be patient and blow the tyres off whatever car he is driving and grab the attention of team principals. If he keeps performing as he has been lately he will get a top drive.

    6. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      The “investors” can dream all they like until they actually hand over money. I believe the Pastor talk is due to Lotus getting fed up waiting for the promised money and looking to dump them. This would see the PSDVA money being used instead.

  11. Harshad says:

    Congratulations to Massa! Massa vs Alonso (on race track) next year will be quite interesting.

    Well, but this announcement closes the door on one of the three;
    1) Maldonado (unlikely because of money he brings)
    2) Hulk
    3) Di-Resta

    James, any inside news as to who amongst the above three is actually feeling the pinch!

    1. Grant H says:

      I have a sinking feeling that unless sauver retain the hulk PDR will lose a seat

      1. Grant H says:

        *sauber

    2. Anirudh s says:

      Di-resta will be out next season. Maybe both the FI drivers may be out. Hulk is off to FI on a 2 year deal and may get partnered with Vandoorne or Checo. Sutil to Sauber alongside Sirotkin. My 2 cents on the musical chairs.

    3. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      There are opportunities further down the field. The lower teams could look to win more prize money by hiring a better driver instead of taking funds from pay drivers. Caterham used this strategy in the past.

    4. Equin0x says:

      Add Sutil and Perez to that list.

      1. Harshad says:

        Sutil is secured, when he was asked the question about it in FIA press conference, he just smiled and said it is secured and he will be in F1 next year but he can’t reveal any more details about it.

  12. All revved-up says:

    Good to see Massa in F1 for 2014.

    Hope he makes a difference in car development, and gets Williams off the bottom rung. (I don’t consider Marussia and Caterhan “proper” F1 teams just yet)

    Sad to think that Hulk may really be out of a drive – unless he goes back to Force India. Poor guy just can’t get a break.

  13. Nick says:

    I like the sound of this pairing it has the makings of a potent partnership, if Williams can produce a good car then Massa can deliver, my fingers are crossed for team and driver both deserving of more success.

  14. AlexTrickle says:

    I’m quite keen to see both how Massa performs away from Ferrari and how Williams do as a team next year. Almost hope for a resurgence in form from both driver and team!

    1. Valois says:

      +1. It should be very good to see Williams fighting at least for 5th – 6th places again soon!

  15. Bruno says:

    Just awesome news! Hope Felipe can move up Williams on the constructors standings and able to show his skills without those doubtful moves by Ferrari. New engine and manufacturer, new pilot, new team, new year!

  16. Athlander says:

    How serious were the McLaren talks? Wouldn’t this confirm the stories that Perez’s position in Mclaren is very weak?

    1. Yak says:

      Massa: Can I drive for McLaren?
      Whitmarsh: Err… no.
      Massa: =(

  17. Randy_Torres says:

    “We are delighted to be able to confirm our 2014 driver line-up and welcome Felipe into the Williams family,” said Williams Team Principal, Frank Williams. “He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the race track…”

    “And brings in a ton of money”, he didn’t add!

    1. JSpeed says:

      Oh, yeah?? Tons of money from where?

      1. Sanjog says:

        Petrobras

      2. JSpeed says:

        Well, tell them that they are sponsoring williams team, because it looks like they still don’t know about that news…

      3. Lopes says:

        No, Petrobras are only looking to return to F1 in 2015, and they haven’t signed a deal with any teams yet. It might bring them closer to Williams if Felipe is there (and now that PDVSA is not).

  18. Chester says:

    Great news for Filepe, smart move.

    Bit disappointed for poor Lewis. Having Masa driving around in the middle order again isn’t going to help. And, as he keeps reminding us all of the time, it is he who should have been WDC in 2008, not Lewis (who won by just one point when Timo Glock let him pass in Brazil …. such a strange final race, I’m surprised there wasn’t an investigation).

    Still, let’s see what happens in 2014.

    1. Grabsplatter says:

      You want to investigate whether slicks grip in a monsoon?

      1. Equin0x says:

        Funny looking monsoon that was… also Glock was doing just fine the previous 2 laps on the slicks and was just onto the last straight he slowed right down, I am actually surprised there was no investigation, it was a hollow victory for Hamilton that race in most people’s eyes especially in Brazil that day Massa was the champion when he crossed the line and was cruelly robbed, didn’t deserve that.

      2. James Clayton says:

        If there was an investigation it would have discovered that all the other drivers on slicks went considerably slower on the final lap too.. so it must have actually been a group conspiracy?

      3. Alexander Supertramp says:

        :D

    2. KJ says:

      I hope we do not get too many post like this on this site

    3. Abraham says:

      That means Lewis shall be a WDC in 2007 because he lost by one point? When he wins it by one point in 2008 you are sick to death and needed investigation. Anyways whether you like it or not he is a great champion OK!

    4. Matt says:

      Massa never said he should have been champion. He has said he *could* have been, but even with the journalists baiting him and twisting his quotes on Singapore, his full comments state that he did not want the Singapore result changed.

      But I’m not surprised you are making stuff up when you can’t understand the basic motor racing principle of lack of traction in the wet from the wrong tyres.

    5. Matt H says:

      This from a guy who can’t even spell Felipe Massa when its in the article above kinda shows you aren’t that bothered about the guy. As for the Lewis comment *sigh*.

      Man that was years ago. Maybe F1 needs 10 years of Vettel domination to bore and clear out from the sport these plastic fans who don’t have a clue about racing. 1.Glock was behind Hamilton all race.
      2.It rained
      3.Pretty much everyone pitted for inters bar Glock
      4.Attained a false position ahead as while Ham,Vettel etc pitted he felt was dry enough to continue
      5.Gamble didnt work as tyres fell off cliff and lost all grip

      All this massa was champion for 30 secs rubbish is just that. That’s like saying Man U were champions until Aguero scored the last minute goal. Fact is he was never champion, the race hadn’t finished despite him crossing the line they still needed the points order to be decided.

    6. Thread the Needle says:

      Take a go kart out with slick tyres on a wet track and see how you get on, then you’ll realise the skill involved in driving in those conditions, it’s not easy by any means

    7. Bernies court suit says:

      Investigation? Should have gone to spec savers!

    8. Ricardo says:

      The only reason Timo was ahead of Hamilton in the first place was because he didn’t to put wet tyres. He was 10 seconds ahead and losing 3 seconds per lap. To my calculations Hamilton should have caught him early in the last lap. I was actually surprised Hamilton only caught him a couple of turns from the end.

      There you have your investigation.

    9. pepe-le-pew says:

      Hamilton crossed the line 0.9seconds behind Vettel with Glock a further 4.5 seconds behind. Do a little math, if Hamilton overtook Glock at the very last corner and managed to find almost 5 seconds to the finish line, but still remain 0.9 behind Vettel, u tell me who was struggling and who was flying and which tyre looks like it was the correct tyre to be on.

  19. Renato Nysan says:

    Didn’t know that Lotus will change Grosjean for Maldonado?

    1. F12&3 says:

      WHAT?

      Lotus are keeping Grosjean and need to fill Kimi’s empty seat. Do you watch F1 at all?

    2. Grant H says:

      Where have u been grosjean is basically confirmed kimi has left lotus

  20. Bjorn Grylls says:

    This is good news in two ways. Firstly, F1 retains Massa, who might get a nice boost of self confidence in a new team where he’s not “only” no. 2 and where he might make som magic!

    Secondly, this means that Maldonado currently is without a seat in F1 and should that be the case when all seats have been filled I’m not going to cry loud.

    Let’s now hope that Hülkenberg gets a seat with Lotus, Kevin Magnussen takes Sutil och Di Riesta’s place in Force India and suddenly the 2014 roster starts looking interesting.

    Fingers crossed for Kimi’s surgery…

    1. Jay West says:

      Autocourse is saying inside “source” confirms McLaren have signed Magnussen and Perez is without a seat.

  21. jmv says:

    Felipe impressed in recent races. A new environment (especially Williams) should give him fresh motivation. With Pat Symonds and Mercedes engine on board … maybe Williams will be a regular points contender. Fingers crossed!

    F1 needs Williams!

    1. Racyboy says:

      It could be argued that Pat Symonds antics in ’08 cost Massa the championship.
      That’s all water under the bridge now of course.

      1. Racyboy says:

        Fuel hose not withstanding.

  22. Stephen Taylor says:

    BBC say Maldonado to Lotus
    Sky say Maldonado to Sauber
    Who’s right?

    1. Sasidharan says:

      Best person to ask is Eddie Jordan!

      1. Valois says:

        Always respected his “prognostics”, though this time he pointed Massa for Lotus… didn’t happen. Is he losing his magic or was it just one little mistake?

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        Very good point about Massa.

    2. What does Eddie Jordan say?

      1. James Allen says:

        A bit like, “What does the Fox say?”

      2. PeteC says:

        Funny!! For those who missed the reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jofNR_WkoCE

      3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        A-hee-ahee ha-hee,
        one-two-one-two-in-Spa98,
        Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringedingg!

        Sounds like him on the BBC F1 forum ;)

    3. Equin0x says:

      I really hope Sky is right.

    4. Sanjog says:

      Maldonado to Lotus for sure. Hulk to Force India and Perez back to Sauber.

      And maybe Kovi back to Caterham :)

  23. Valois says:

    Good luck for him! He deserves some space to be the driver he can be. He has eleven victories in his career and that is not a small feat.

  24. Sarvar says:

    Well done, Felipe! Hopefully mounts of Ferrari pressure ll be gone and you can finally unleash your speed and talent to seal many wins with Williams. Good luck!

  25. Sossoliso says:

    Can’t wait to see Pastor Maldonado run Team mate Grojean off the track next season when the red mist descends.
    Can’t help but feel for Hulkenberg. Looks like he might be left out in the cold again!!!.

  26. Truth or lies says:

    Best of luck Felipe.

    Let’s hope Williams have a decent car next year

  27. J.Danek says:

    James, is there confirmation yet that Massa’s contract is two years?

    Regardless, I’m happy to see him doing a “Rubens” …

  28. Ryan says:

    Massa is a hell of a great guy and an exceptional talent. I’m happy for him and Williams and Bottas.

    One thing that irks me though is that it seems very likely that Lotus will take on Maldonado who will want to buy his way into their team. And that means Lotus is choosing money over talent. What talent? Nico Hulkenberg. -If they’re a serious racing team and want to get the best possible results, Nico Hulkenberg is the driver they need. He and Romain can push each other. But Maldonado and Romain? It’s going to be dominated by Grosjean 100%. And It’ll likely be extra expensive for the team to have “Crashonado”.

    1. DK says:

      Most probably Pastor and Romain will push each other … off the track.

    2. Sasidharan says:

      The expense is compensated by the money he brings in. So it more than balances ;)

    3. Kamal says:

      He and Romain can push each other. But Maldonado and Romain?
      They push each other off the track. To be fair Romain improved a lot though

  29. J.Danek says:

    James, can you also please find out for us if Rob Smedley would accompany Felipe to Williams, or is that partnership to end in Brasil as well, w/ RS either staying w/ Ferrari or leaving F1 altogether?

    1. Richard D says:

      I recall Rob Smedley saying in a recent interview that he was moving into a design job.

    2. Grant H says:

      Good point smedley was tipped for williams a few weeks back!

    3. I think we have already been informed of Rob’s impending departure from Ferrari when it was announced Massa would not get another contract – back in September. The talk was of him returning to the UK. So…..perhaps he already had discussions with Sir Frank at that stage.

    4. D Winn says:

      “Kimi, Fernando is faster than you !”

    5. Matt says:

      Smedley is working at Williams in their Grove base for 2014. No traveling role

  30. Tealeaf says:

    Hmmm I’m not so sure about this, I take it Hulkenberg misses out yet again yeah? the best seat left is the Force India seat of either Di Resta or Sutil’s now.
    With Massa and Bottas wheres the money or result going to come from? the twilight of Williams and massa next year I doubt either of them can last another 3 years unless something strange happens with money or something.

  31. AMSG says:

    Why does it look like the Hulk will be left standing, when the music stops soon……If Lotus take PM’s money….NH only has Sauber or Mc as options !!!

  32. Fareed says:

    Isn’t Hulkenberg to Lotus and Maldonado to Sauber still a possibility? Nicolas Todt was recently quoted saying he was working on a deal to transfer PDVSA sponsorship to Sauber.

    1. ManOnWheels says:

      It is and I’d be glad for Sauber, but that would send Hulkenberg out of the frying pan straight into the fire, regarding his paychecks.
      I guess Force India would be a better option for him.

  33. Lee says:

    Massa must surely be thinking this move will bring him the WC he so desperately wants. What? Team Willie are a back midfield team these days? Well why on earth does he hope to achieve?

    Never mind at least Williams have a young talent to mould for the future. What do you mean he’s a journey man veteran? Why on earth have they signed him when there’s up and coming young drivers like Hulkenberg in F1?

    Arrrgh Massa is now a pay driver. How long until the motogp starts again?

    1. Grant H says:

      Williams are unlikely to challenge for a WC yet but dont write them completely off next year, they gave up on thus years car quite early by all accounts – next year will have a merc engine too, so they maybe able to take a reasonable step forward

      1. Lee says:

        Yeah but how much better would they be with a young driver rather than someone who can’t let it go. That’s the point – why is Massa there? What does he hope to achieve? Never underestimate hunger and raw talent. Massa doesn’t motivate himself very well evidenced by the fact that he only becomes competitive when his seat is at risk. A combination of Massa on a multi year deal and a team that won’t be expecting race winning performances has all the makings of mediocracy. Unless of course Massa is on a zero hours contract.

    2. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

      Williams had a decent car in ’12 but was let down by its driver combination. I have a lot of respect for Pat Symonds. Just look at what he has been able to do with Marussia on a tiny budget.

      Don’t forget, Bernie and Frank go way back (to when Bernie used to lend Frank Cosworth DFV engines). Therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if he is in the background helping Frank get competitive. After all, Frank has very often sided with Bernie in disputes and Bernie doesn’t forget a friend.

      1. Lee says:

        All excellent points, and I’ll also throw in Bernie’s stated position that there has to be a Brazillian in F1 but you’re assuming Massa is the best candidate to make Williams a force once again. Now he may be but only by way of sponsorship he can bring not by way of speed, and potential. Bernie and Frank have a duty to protect the sport from itself and to look to the future.

    3. Valois says:

      All that I have read about the subject so far contradicts everything in this post. When will MotoGP start again?

      1. Lee says:

        Care to elaborate?

      2. aezy_doc says:

        Sadly never. At least that’s how it will feel now that it has been snapped up by BT sport. I am being completely priced out of motorsport and feel very sad about it.

  34. neshaen says:

    Wish Massa all the best. Now its pastor vs Hulk for the lotus seat. What about perez? James – your predictions please?

    1. James Allen says:

      They know what Perez can do now.
      Some factions at McLaren want to move him out now for Magnussen, others are more conservative

      Knowing McLaren I’d expect the conservative view to prevail on this one

      1. Jay West says:

        James, So is Autosport’s story about McLaren already deciding on Magnussen unfounded?

      2. James Allen says:

        No, one hopes it’s right and they have gone that route.

        Why not? Perez is a known quantity now. Magnussen has huge promise

      3. AuraF1 says:

        McLaren are really led by data and with Magnussen showing better speed than Perez it might swing it. The McLaren board room loves a stat sheet and never came across a bar chart it couldn’t get in bed with ;)

      4. Scuderia McLaren says:

        They were not conservative when bringing Hamilton in, in 2007. I am guessing that they will bring MAG in now, especially as BUT is his team mate. Good, low pressure measure.

      5. Elie says:

        Their about to confirm Magnussen

      6. darren w says:

        James,
        Your view of McLaren conservatism is an interesting one; a view that I see reflected by many descriptions of the team in the F1 media.

        I can see how their size, position/history in the sport and the fastidious, corporate feel of the McLaren Technology Centre all aid in creating this impression.

        Yet…they don’t seem to shy away from risk.

        The move to producing road cars when they did, including the massive investment in that technology centre, bringing Lewis Hamilton directly into a race seat from a lower class, and taking a radical approach to this season’s car design are all examples, successful or not, of an organization not too curtailed by the leash of conservatism.

        I’m not saying I disagree with you (because I am in no position to know differently), but it might be interesting for fans to see an exploration of what it means to be conservative in an F1 context.

        In regards to whether Magnussen gets a seat with the team next season or not, the timing of changes in both the technical regulations and a change in 2015 from Mercedes to Honda might make this the perfect time to try injecting a young talent into the situation. They also had that quite good experience of dropping that Hamilton guy directly into a seat on the team.

      7. James Allen says:

        No, they take some crazy risks sometimes, but this is an important decision

      8. Jota180 says:

        TBH – I think taking Magnussen would be a conservative choice, rather than the risky route of Magnussen and Vandoorne or the middle ground of Magnussen and Perez.
        Do next years cars need experienced and steady hands? Or will a fiery youngster who knows no different be the best way forward?

        If in doubt, [as ever] take the safe option of experience and youth

  35. Philip J Fry says:

    Let the final round of musical chairs commence. Sponsors $$$ or driver talent take your pick!

  36. Gengis says:

    Great news! Looking forward to seeing what Felipe can do in 2014 “unleashed” from Ferrari. I know for a fact he is still a top level driver and hopefully with Felipe, Valteri, Pat Symonds and a good power plant Williams can begin fighting for points and hopefully podiums!!

  37. Holbein Menezes says:

    James,

    There are some noise on the racing blogs, talking about Ross Brawn and Robert Smedley at Williams F1.

    Would it be a compensation from the loss of Toto Wolf to Mercedes?

    1. J Hancock says:

      Given the goings on at Mercedes now, Toto Wolf looks like a bullet well dodged by Williams.

    2. Would Ross be up for a longer term challenge? I don’t believe Williams’ finances are in a state to give them a world beating car next year but Sir Frank needs a replacement for Patrick Head to literally take over the team and allow Sir Frank to retire. Would Ross be up for that? Then a combination of Ross, Pat and Rob would like like an exciting prospect. Planets – are we in alignment yet?

      1. Holbein Menezes says:

        Yes,

        I do believe Williams is not financially up to hire Ross Brawn and the big boys, instead, It may be a chance to bring them on board as share holders to Williams F1 company. We must never forget that Ross was once a Team owner and sold it to Mercedes (He probably has enough cash)!

        It may be the last chance to revert the poor performance trend.

        We will see!

  38. Paul says:

    Very happy that’s he got the chance to be a Team leader again and not have to now to his teammates every whim. If bottas does regularly beat him then he will have earned it

    Just gutted that Maldonado is going lotus while hulkenberg looks like he’s going to be shafted again in the driver merry go round…….

    Also interested to see where Perez is going to end up if mclaren do go with magnusson

  39. German Samurai says:

    Felipe baby, Valterri is faster than you. Valterri is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand that message?

    Decisions like this are why Williams are mired in mediocrity. Maldonado has more wins for Williams than Massa has had since 2008 despite driving for the biggest spending team on the grid.

  40. CYeo says:

    Does it seem that most Brazilian drivers end their F1 careers at Williams?

  41. Nick says:

    Even if Massa is no longer at his best, I still believe he’s a better choice for Williams than Maldonado.

    Hope they give Bottas and Massa a decent car next year and we can see Williams back in the thick of it…Ninth is not where they should be.

  42. Geoff Norman says:

    Looks like a good move for both parties, especially Massa. If it doesn’t work out he can claim that he couldn’t pull the team round and, if it does, he can take some of the credit at the end of a career that has never quite fulfilled its promise. Good luck to both.

  43. Rich B says:

    can’t believe McLaren would choose him when hulk’s available.

    if the choice was between sauber, force indy and williams I think he made the right call. yes the others are doing much better right now but I feel Williams have more potential, I hope he proves me right.

  44. dren says:

    Maldonado to Lotus? I thought their new money wants Hulkenburg?

    1. Jota180 says:

      What money?
      Has anyone actually seen the filthy lucre yet?

      There’s lots of promises of new money, but it’s always tomorrow when it’ll turn up.

      1. Agreed. And if Lotus do announce Maldonado as their driver then doesn’t it just confirm that the investor will not be finalising the deal and stumping up any dough?

      2. All revved-up says:

        +10

        When Kimi signed for Ferrari mid year I wondered if he was jumping ship too prematurely, when Lotus put out messages that financing was close.

        Now the Lotus facade is plain for all to see – there is no “deal just around the corner”. Kimi’s decision makes perfect sense now.

        For certain Lotus senior pitwall personnel to question Kimi’s team spirit – just shows a floundering management team, no longer able to provide the funding necessary for a conducive atmosphere for team work – resulting in a toxic mangement culture of blaming easy scapegoats, such as individuals leaving the team.

        The fact that the individual drove for the majority of the year without being paid – is conveniently overlooked for the cheap shot questioning the individual’s team spirit.

        OK – time to take off my Kimi fan cap, and resume a more neutral and open mind!

    2. Elie says:

      It’s all horsesh.. There’s no money

  45. Em says:

    Haven’t Red Bull announced their line up also or was the season so dull I dreamed that?

  46. CJD says:

    i’m really happy for massa and sir Williams. But know i think Hulk will be left over now … it’s a shame ..

    greetings

  47. Richard says:

    All I hope is that this doesn’t mean the Lotus-Maldanado deal isn’t done. Hulk deserves it more than anyone else.

  48. jay dee says:

    I predicted this months ago. More exited about this than raikkonen goin to ferrari which I think is going to be a big anticlimax.

    1. NickH says:

      Most of the F1 world predicted it

  49. W Johnson says:

    Massa is starting to wake up from his Ferrari induced coma….the requirement to be a compliant no 2 driver.

    1. Elie says:

      Exactly isnt it refreshing!

      1. Anil says:

        He’s only been required to be a number 2 driver when he’s been out of the championship hunt and Alonso hasn’t. There were no team orders at China 2010, Korea 2011, Australia 2013 or Germany 13, but in each occasion Felipe either made a mistake or Alonso made much better use of his strategy.

  50. Spyros says:

    I sincerely hope Massa does well, next to Bottas. With so many new, unknown young pay drivers around, it’s quite difficult to judge how good Bottas or Maldonado really are. Bringing in a known quantity will not only help quantify things, it might also tell fans (and maybe team owners) a few things about how sensible it is for the smaller teams to choose drivers based on their budget, rather than talent.

    And yes I do realize Massa almost certainly will bring some money in, directly or indirectly, but the lessons will still hopefully be there for us to learn.

  51. Jonathan Powell says:

    Hopefully Felipe will help Williams get back to a more respectable position in F1. It wont be the catalyst which takes them back to the front or even top 4 but they cant do any worse than they are at the moment so fingers crossed things will get better!

    Im surprised Maldonado will be going to Lotus though and disappointed as it means Hulkenberg wont get a drive there or Mclaren who are tipped to sign Magnussen in replace of Perez.

    Such a shame when a driver of Hulkenberg’s calibre cant get a top drive!

  52. Rich C says:

    My immediate thought was “poor Felipe,” to go from the glittering to the barely glimmering.

    1. Better than going into retirement. Actually, perhaps it is a good stepping stone to retirement as the words “and again Massa retires from the race” might get him used to the concept.

      Sorry – a cheap shot but had to take it. I know Williams are reliable. Slow, but reliable. I would love to see them back up the sharp end of the grid again and hope things are falling into place to make that happen but it won’t be in 2014.

  53. Greg (Aus) says:

    Good news for Williams. I’m pleased they’ve moved Maldonado on and signed an experienced partner for Bottas.

    Now if they can just get the car right…

  54. John McNair says:

    Hope Ross Brawn and Rob Smedley would Pat Symonds and help Massa and Bottas compete at the sharp end. Love to see a Williams revival

    1. Grant H says:

      I agree that would be awesome,

    2. Olivier says:

      That’d be great!

      Massa’s move could prove to be an inspired one:

      (1) Williams has got the must have engine of 2014 in their car … and (2) Pat Symonds is around to make sure everyone is focused on the same thing.

      My gut feeling says that Massa will thrive in the Williams family. Especially if Big Bear is around.

  55. Joe says:

    So Maldonado to Lotus? It will be a shame if Hulkenberg misses out but then again, Lotus might not be that strong next year so maybe it will be a blessing in disguise.

    In other driver news,it looks like Perez will be replaced at McLaren by Kevin Magnussen. If so then I feel a bit bad for Perez as he will have expected chances to win races and instead just got chances to score points. That being said, there is a lot of good words for Magnussen so hopefully he lives up to his billing.

    It’s definitely a big ask of him, I wonder why they didn’t put him in at Marussia. Maybe Chilton’s mega money couldn’t be replaced.

  56. Cedgy says:

    Good to know Massa will be in F1 next year with his all time favorite race engineer Rob smedley. The pair is inseparable!

  57. David says:

    Good News that Massa has secured a race seat for 2014 with Williams – hope all works out well for everyone involved.

  58. they just need to sign Brawn now

  59. Sam Saleh says:

    Felipe is lucky he’s staying in F1, although his recent qualy performances have been good, over the years he hasn’t been good enough, hence why ferrari got rid of him. If pastor beats Nico to the seat at Lotus it will be a huge shame for Nico that once again money talks and Pastor got in infront of him because of that. Hopefully Nico will get a top drive very soon, maybe Perez out and Nico in at McLaren, because surely after this awful season McLaren wont gamble next year and put a rookie straight in with Jenson!?!

  60. Steve says:

    Happy for Filipe…although can Williams build a good car next season? Lets hope so – not nice to see them struggling like this. But you cant live off your heritage unfortunately. Would be great to see Filipe with smedley as his race engineer – getting podiums next year…

  61. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    I assume it’s becoming clear that the Quantum money isn’t arriving at Lotus any time soon?

    1. James Allen says:

      Deadline is 15th as I understand it, but I hear Maldonado deal is done

      We will see

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Interestingly though Sky F1 sources are convinced Pastor will join Sauber.

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        Here is the report from the sky sports websiteaon Massa/ Williams . It mentions the Maldonado/Sauber link just to prove I haven’t lost my marbles. See what you think James.
        http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/12476/9020872/felipe-massa-joins-williams-as-team-mate-to-valtteri-bottas-in-2014

      3. Sarvar says:

        Yesterday Infinity, today Quantum and tomorrow X, even these guys aren’t committed to corporate name not mentioning about money matters.

      4. Cedgy says:

        What a bummer. But then again who knows what Lotus will be like next year without Kimi and James Allison and with limited budget?
        Really hope Hulkenberg can find a seat either with Sauber or Force India.

      5. Nick Hipkin says:

        Poor Hulk, it’s hard to see which top team would give him a chance now in the next couple of years.

        Cannot see Ferrari pairing him with Vettel and think they already have Marciello or Bianchi lined up for that in a couple of years.

        Mclaren could well have a full house of Magnussen, Vandoorne, Button and possibly Alonso

        Red Bull will want a big name when Seb finally leaves although maybe Hulk will get his chance there.

        Maybe Mercedes later down the line if Lewis decides not to stay when his contract ends but Hulk hasn’t really done much wrong but cannot find an opening

  62. AlexD says:

    Lotus has a very interesting strategy. One of their drivers is the master of crash-starting and they will get another one who is the master of race crashing. They are complete now.

    1. Anirudh s says:

      Grosjean has matured this year. he is no longer the “First Lap nutcase”

    2. Elie says:

      Hahahaha !!- love it

    3. All revved-up says:

      Lotus will be running short of spare front wings by the 3rd race of the season.

      There goes someone’s salary.

  63. Rishi says:

    It’s funny in a way because Williams have an historic reputation of picking guys who are sort of your cut-and-dried racers; think Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Juan-Pablo Montoya. Ayrton Senna too drove for them of course but it was a tragically short tenure.

    Felipe doesn’t really fit the above bill but I have long admired him and am glad he stays in F1 for 2014. Let’s hope that his time at the Grove team is more reminiscent of Riccardo Patrese (who had something of a resurgence with them, particularly in 1991) than perhaps Thierry Boutsen (who is often seen as a guy who singularly failed to impress the team, though in his defence he did win three races for them – more than Riccardo over the two years they were together there – and two of them were deftly taken in atrocious conditions!). Incidentally is there any news on whether Rob Smedley (linked with Williams earlier in the autumn) will be moving with Massa?

    1. Grant H says:

      I agree massa does not fit in the same hall of fame as the drivers u mention but this williams team today is not the same as the old, they in recent years have not had the budget to compete at the sharp end and attract WC drivers -i would love to see a revival though, be good to see brawn and smedley go to the team

      1. Rishi says:

        Good point. This is definitely a different Williams team to the one of yore – and not just because of the results. The team of the 1980s and 1990s was resolutely Sir Frank and Patrick Head’s ship, while in the modern-day team Patrick has moved on and Sir Frank’s role (at least when it comes to the race team alone) has become more symbolic over time, that of a figurehead. That is not intended as a criticism of Sir Frank by the way; he remains inspirational and I’m sure he continues to work very hard wherever he can. However, the company has evolved somewhat and this has led to changes including a CEO and the promotion of his daughter Claire, who is now deputy team principal and family representative on the Williams board.

        A revival would indeed be very welcome and, despite a hugely disappointing 2013, their performance in 2012 (after a 2011 which was similar to 2013) indicates that it is far from impossible.

  64. Goodluck Massa. I hope you rediscover your form at Williams. I also hope that Williams will move up the grid too. They have been in the dark for too long, I think the last time they won was when Montoya was there.

  65. Clear-as-mud says:

    I wander if we will still hear Rob Smedley talking to ‘Felipe Baby’ on the radio still.

  66. Adrian J says:

    James, Autosport are reporting Perez out and Magnussen (spelling??) in at McLaren…but nothing has been announced by the team as far as I can see…

    Have you heard anything official yet?

  67. Chromatic says:

    Just a sheepish word for the universally derided MALDO:

    Won a race in Spain 2012 in great style, holding off an on-form Alonso. He can be a fast and intelligent racer in a good car. Why the Williams was never again a good car after that event defeats me. But there it is. Grosj and Hulk have never won a race in their lives. Massa hasn’t won in five years……

    Yes he can be mean and unsportive, though it hasn’t happened since Monaco 2012. He has never pretended to be a boy scout, and I have to confess his ‘James Bond Baddie’ side is an antidote to the goodie boys image of many drivers.

    If he goes to Lotus, he will wrench off Grojean’s front wing with his bare teeth, and poor Romain will realise for the first time what a wonderful gentlemanly and generous teammate Kimi was !!

    1. Valois says:

      Well done, that was quite a colorful description!

      IMHO MAL and GRO have already paid for their mistakes and are much more mature right now. I wonder if races were not more fun when they were impredictable.

    2. Tim says:

      Williams win in Spain, was Franks 70th birthday present from Bernie – didn’t you know? I thought it was common knowledge ;-)

  68. deancassady says:

    I am happy that Filipe is driving for Williams, next year, as previously predicted on these pages.
    It seems to me: win-win-win.
    Way to go, Filipe; I believe the best, for you, is yet to come, in formula one.

    But the is a bigger story, the Alonso and Ferrari story, also mentioned, more than once on James’ pages, I go on the record now, predicting the Ferrari 2014 team, as: Kimi and Bianchi, and I think that will be a great team, possibly with surprises.
    I believe Bianchi is yet under-rated. Think of a younger Alonso at Minardi, going to Renault.
    The story of the back issues, eerily mirrors the Kimi at Lotus drop out of the rest of the season.
    I predict that Alonso will NOT race in Austin, and neither Brazil, for some… respectable reason.
    Bianchi will drive Ferrari, for the last two races, and sign for next year, after at least one podium.
    I’m looking forward to finding out.

  69. Racyboy says:

    Great to see Felipe continue in F1.
    I only hope Team Willy can provide their drivers with the machinery to get back to the front.It was a shame the way Rubens was ousted without any farewell after so long in the sport.

    I’d love to see Ross Brawn make his way back to Williams.

    Also, James, I guess there hasn’t been a sniff of Hulk to McLaren?, or you would have probably mentioned it.
    I can only hope.

  70. Random 79 says:

    Good news for Massa :) Hopefully Williams give him a decent enough car to make the most of it.

  71. Bollo says:

    Oh, God…

    Quite possibly the most boring driver in F1.
    OK, it’s a balanced team – experience and youth etc etc. all All I’m saying is they better not commission in too much Massa merchadise…

  72. Chris says:

    James,

    Any substance to Ross Brawn returning to Williams?

    1. James Allen says:

      They’ve talked on and off over the years, including during RB’s sabbatical.

  73. D Vega says:

    The good thing is that by now he is surely accustomed to a car, which is more donkey than horse.

  74. Emmo says:

    What great driver pairings next year! Nando and Kimi, Hammie and Rozzie, Vetto and Dano, now Felipe and Val (and hopefully Magnussen and Button). Great move by Williams.

    Felipe (like Rubens) should have left Ferrari as soon as it was obvious they were favouring the other driver. Never stick around where you are number two! Shrewd move by Williams. Massa has the pace, and free of the toxic work environment he is going to blossom again.

  75. Sri says:

    Every driver says that they had dreamt from childhood to drive the car. I’m sure Vettel will say that when he will move on to F…..i. It is like the standard dialogues of Miss Universe contest: World Peace, Care for the children etc.

    Also Massa may try to deny as much a he wants to, he is a pay driver. Just as Maldonado is. Poor Hulk. It pays to have a good industry back up these days it appears.

    What I had feared would happen to Kimi, is actually happening to Hulk. Imagine how he must have felt so happy being close to wrapping up a deal with Ferrari and now he is in danger of not even being in F1! Says a lot about F1.

    Also why is GP2 series winner Valsecchi not even being considered by anyone? I think seriously F1 is losing talent big time due to high costs.

    1. Valois says:

      Who is paying Williams so Massa may have a seat?

      1. Sri says:

        Petrobras. I did not read James’ article here to check if it has been mentioned, but it has been mentioned on other sites.

  76. John S says:

    I think Massa will thrive here. I’m happy for him and Williams.

  77. Elie says:

    For someone that’s not a fan , I have to say I have never been more pleased to hear a driver confirmed at a new team. It will be great for both parties. Has anyone noticed just how fast Felipe has been whilst he’s racing only for himself these last few races and the fact he was beating Fernando before he was moved out the way and put on the wrong tyres again at Abu Dhabi by Ferrari. A very strong driver pairing now at Williams – Bottas is a champ of the future and I think these two will push the team forward quite well in 2014.
    On another note it seems like Mclaren might take Magnussen so does that mean we might see a Seguo at FI and Pastor at Lotus. It will be the crash up derby with Grosjean there- they won’t be able to help themselves when they are together! :)

    1. Chromatic says:

      ..as in: they will push each other lol.

  78. Vipin says:

    James,

    Just as I said, It happened!

  79. Bruno says:

    Quantum group said they want Hulk… Maldonado have the money with PDVSA… Lotus already have a petrol sponsor Total… What’s going to be so? Grosjean will loose his seat to Maldonado? Maldonado is going to be out of F1? No team wants a driver who says wide open his car is a piece of crap!

  80. Flyboy says:

    Why Maldonado to Lotus? His funding is suspect with the financial turmoil in Venezuela… Perez is available with his Telcel backing and I rate him at least as good as Maldonado. Looks like Hulkenberg will be at Sauber next year.

  81. andrew says:

    Wonder? Does Massa bring any significant sponsor money along for the ride to financially struggling Williams?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Yeah, apparently he has backers back home.

  82. Louis says:

    Frankly speaking, I don’t think Lotus is certainly going to be competitive next year, by losing the key person in technical side and driver. We all knew how good Kimi is, Lotus won’t be in this position without his help.

    So I don’t think Lotus is a good option for Hulk, I hope he end alongside Jenson next year.

  83. Chris C says:

    I think this a sensible move from Williams.

    Massa as we have seen is nothing special as a driver, still doing errors and lacking raw speed. but he has his days where he can deliver some good results. Now Williams being in this dire situation and with rule changes just around the corner can not really be able to attract a great driver to take them above the level of their machinery. Lets see if Symonds can do his magic (without the cheating part) and help them in that respect. The one area that worries me is that if they can’t find some better sponsorship they will be out of money.

    I am happy that Massa remains for a couple of years more as he is a nice guy and we need to have a driver for the Brazilians to cheer for.

    Good luck to both Williams (they deserve some) and to Massa

  84. Daniel Aquilina says:

    Rapped to see my boy Massa remain in F1 next year. While challenging for wins is going to be hard I can see he and Bottas in the back end of the points every race. My two favourite drivers in the same team? Can’t wait for 2014!

  85. Warren G says:

    I just don’t see Massa being the catalyst Williams need to move up the grid again. I cannot remember one single drive of his that he pulled a great result out of nowhere. And I’m not convinced at all that Massa’s poor form is due to Alonso – that’s mythical fanboyism stirred up in chatrooms. Domenicali himself has admitted that the cars have been difficult to drive and that Massa has not managed as well as Alonso to extract the pace.

    Unless Williams produce a stable, easy to drive car next year, don’t expect this sudden blossoming of Massa. Honestly, Maldonado is much like Grosjean – both have good potential and blistering speed, so for Bottas to beat Maldonado at qualifying does not look good for Massa.

  86. f1dingo says:

    Always find out funny when people generally say it’s good he got a drive he’s a nice guy.

    The really quick guys get seats, the rest are all just part of the swings and roundabouts game. Alonso, kimi, vettel, hamilton. 4 best driver’s all signed up early. Look at how quickly these guys picked up good drives early in their careers, no coincidence. Magnusson will be interesting and Williams biggest plus is holding on to bottas – future star.

  87. Andrew Jarman says:

    I like Felipe a lot but unless Williams suddenly come up with a corker he seems to be taking the Rubens route to gradual retirement…

  88. james a says:

    Glad massa has got a drive for 2014 , hopefully ross brawn will end up there and get them to the sharp end of the grid . Now that just leaves the question everybody wants to know where the hulks going to be . If maldo goes to lotus then he really is running out of options . He should stick with sauber for another year then hopefully he gets alonso seat in 2015 . Im going to have a punt that alonso will end up at merc and lewis will head back to mclaren while jenson goes off and teams back with the man who brought him his world tittle . . . . . Ross brawn at williams !

  89. Kit says:

    Best news ever since Kimi’s return

  90. F1_Fan says:

    I wish Williams will produce a good car for 2014, at least to be in the mid-field.
    Who knows, perhaps there will be another chance for Massa to win a race , I hope and wish so !

    Forza Williams-Massa !

  91. Mikeboy0001 says:

    I’m happy Maldonado is out of Williams, but hope he doesn’t steal the Lotus seat, with his bag of money, from Hulk
    I also believe Massa will get beaten by Bottas on a regular basis next year, and Massa could see his seat in danger, yet again, by the end of the season

  92. zx6dude says:

    Well pleased for Massa, fingers crossed Hulkenberg will also get a seat

  93. Lohani says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Williams makes the best of the reg changes and Felipe ends up winning the 2014 WDC with Alonso coming second Mama Mia?

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