Brazilian Felipe Massa has said he is in talks with Williams – among other teams – with regards a race seat for next season.
The 32-year-old is in need of a drive after Ferrari chose to replace him with Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who is re-joining the Italian team alongside Fernando Alonso.
“I’m talking with a few teams, including Williams,” said Massa. “I will not go to a small team. I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car.
Massa, who narrowly missed out on the 2008 world title to Lewis Hamilton, added: “I’m not a pay driver. So I will not go to a team just because I have a sponsor. I will go for my experience and for what I have already achieved in my career.
“I hope I can find a direction to get a chance in a team that wants to have me for what I am and not for what I can give in terms of money.”
But the 11-time race winner, who made his F1 debut in 2002, admitted he would be willing to be part of a wider commercial package for a team.
“What I can do to help a team, I am helping myself,” he said. “Whatever you can have to improve the situation, to improve the development, to do the best you can for the team by using your name is definitely welcome.”
Massa has been linked with Raikkonen’s vacant drive at Lotus, but with Williams’ Pastor Maldonado admitting that he is unsure of his plans next year, it would appear there could be a vacancy at the Grove-based team.
Williams management visited Venezuela last week for talks with oil giant PDVSA, who currently sponsors the team.
Maldonado said: “Next year I have a contract in the team. You never know. At the moment I have not taken any decision, which is [set to be in] the next couple of races.”
And there are also rumours that Massa’s race engineer Rob Smedley is considering a return to the Uk to take up a senior operational engineering role with Williams.
Ahead of the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, Massa – who has been a race driver for Ferrari since 2006 – said his focus remains on finishing the season on a high: “I want to try the best I can to score as many points as possible. The team is still fighting for second place in the championship and this is very important for us and it’s the only thing I have in my mind.”