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Massa’s F1 future assured As Williams Pick him up For 2014
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Posted By:   |  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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1

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?

2

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

3

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

4

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 !

5

Best news ever since Kimi’s return

6

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 !

7

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…

8

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.

9

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.

10

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!

11

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

12

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.

13

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

14

Yeah, apparently he has backers back home.

15

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.

16

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!

17

James,

Just as I said, It happened!

18

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! 🙂

19

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

20

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

21

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.

22

Who is paying Williams so Massa may have a seat?

23

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

24

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.

25

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

26

James,

Any substance to Ross Brawn returning to Williams?

27

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

28

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…

29

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

30

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.

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