Williams Martini Racing has revealed Felipe Massa will rejoin the team for the 2017 Formula 1 season, paving the way for Valtteri Bottas to join Mercedes.
The Brazilian had originally planned to leave F1 at the end of the 2016 season after losing his Williams drive to rookie Lance Stroll, but found himself back in the frame when Nico Rosberg's sudden exit from F1 opened the door for Mercedes to poach Bottas.
As such Massa will be back on the grid in 2017 with Williams, the 2008 runner-up saying he felt it was the 'right thing to do' to re-join a team when it approached.
“Firstly, I am very happy to have an opportunity to return to Williams," said Massa, who has signed for a single year deal. "I always intended to race somewhere in 2017, but Williams is a team close to my heart and I have respect for everything it is trying to achieve.
"Valtteri has a great opportunity, given the turn of events over the winter, and I wish him all the best at Mercedes.
“In turn, when I was offered the chance to help Williams with their 2017 Formula One campaign, it felt like the right thing to do. I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I'm extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40.
“The support from my fans over the last few weeks has been a huge boost and I'm grateful for that. I also look forward to working with Lance; I've known him for many years and seen his talent develop during that time, so I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together."
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst