F1 »

Williams open to Bottas release, Massa to return?

Williams admits for the first time that Valtteri Bottas is potentially available to Mercedes... and Felipe Massa could return to F1
Claire Williams has for the first time revealed that the Williams Martini Racing team will be willing to release Valtteri Bottas to join Mercedes, but only if it can source an experienced alternative to replace him.

The nine-time F1 podium winner has emerged as the clear frontrunner to replace retired champion Nico Rosberg in the title-winning Mercedes team, but Williams has already turned down an initial approach that involved the caveat of a significant engine bill reduction and the offer a driver replacement in Pascal Wehrlein.

Nevertheless, deputy team principal Williams has told the BBC that it will consider allowing Bottas – whose new deal with the team was only revealed in November – to defect provided it can secure a reasonable and experienced replacement itself at this late stage.

FEATURE: 8 Circuits that we'd LOVE to see an F1 pound around

With this in mind, newly-retired Felipe Massa could be in line for a sensational comeback, with Williams herself identifying him as an option.

“Williams has its own ambitions and we must always ensure we give our team the best opportunity to move forward. Any changes would only be made if Williams remains in a strong position to compete and develop in 2017.

“If we did allow Valtteri to leave, we would only do this if an experienced, credible alternative was available, such as someone like Felipe Massa for example."

Williams remains in a good position to drive a hard bargain with Mercedes given the manufacturer's options beyond Bottas appear limited to Wehrlein, who is considered to be too inexperienced for the high-profile role alongside Lewis Hamilton.

STOP THE PRESS: Nico Rosberg and other 'I wasn't expecting that' F1 moments

Indeed, the unexpected announcement by Rosberg, just days after winning his first F1 title, caught Mercedes off guard and left it with scant good quality options with which to fill the seat, though the same applies to Williams if it must replace Bottas after signing rookie Lance Stroll as his team-mate.

Eighteen year-old Stroll was signed on the premise that he would have less pressure to develop in his rookie campaign alongside an experience team-mate. With this in mind, Massa – who retired from F1 last month after being replaced by Stroll – would be seen as a worthy option so long as the Brazilian is willing to return.

Despite the complexity of any potential deal, Williams and Mercedes have developed a strong working relationship over the years, with Wolff formally a director, while the team has enjoyed an upturn in success since switching to the German firm's engine supply.

Mercedes has confirmed that it will not reveal the identity of Rosberg's replacement until January 2017 at the earliest.



Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
06.10.2016 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


ProfessorDave

December 16, 2016 10:15 AM

  •   Reply
  •   0 agree
  •   0 disagree

Jimmy1

December 16, 2016 9:56 AM

  •   Reply
  •   5 agree
  •   8 disagree


© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.