Felipe Massa has said he is looking forward to the 'exciting new challenge' of being part of the Williams F1 Team next season.
Massa's future had been thrown into doubt back in September, when Ferrari confirmed the Brazilian would be replaced by Kimi Raikkonen
for F1 2014. He was then linked to a number of teams, including, in addition to Williams, Lotus and Sauber, however, the announcement he would be heading to Grove was made official today [Monday
], in the countdown to this weekend's United States Grand Prix, the penultimate round in the F1 2013 World Championship.
“Williams is one of the most successful and important teams of all time in F1. 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,” Massa commented. “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. Since my early days in motor racing, I don't remember seeing so many new rules in a single season and I'm fully prepared to work with everyone at Grove to make sure we find the right direction. I'm highly motivated to start working hard from the very beginning in what is an exciting new challenge in my career.”
Valtteri Bottas meanwhile has been retained and the Finn is looking forward to working with Massa: “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. We will be working throughout the winter to ensure we are ready for the challenge of 2014,” Bottas stated.
“I would also like to thank everyone at Williams, especially Frank, Claire and the senior management for their on-going trust in me,” he continued. “I'm very happy to be staying with the team as I embark on my second season in F1. 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.”