Last week we heard that Valtteri Bottas was a name in the running to fill the spot just vacated by Newly Minted Formula 1 champ Nico Rosberg, opposite of Lewis Hamilton. And it was a rumor only (even though Bottas has ties to Mercedes that we’ll get to a bit later). That is until Felipe Massa just unretired and signed with Williams for the 2017 season.
What that effectively means is that Bottas is free and clear to sign with Mercedes and that’s looking more and more likely by the second. Here’s why.
A report in the Brazilian media claims Felipe Massa signed a contract with Williams yesterday to drive for the team in 2017.
Massa’s immediate return from retirement will allow him to replace Valtteri Bottas in the team’s line-up so the 27-year-old can move to Mercedes.
Brazil’s Grande Premio claims Massa took just a few days to abandon his retirement plans. The report also indicated Mercedes made unsuccessful approaches to McLaren for Fernando Alonso and Renault for Nico Hulkenberg.
Massa will partner 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll at the team next season. The veteran of 250 races announced his retirement plans three months ago at the Italian Grand Prix.
Bottas is connected to Mercedes via the team’s executive director Toto Wolff, who is involved in managing his career. He has spent his entire career to date with Williams. The team also uses a supply of Mercedes power units.
So with all that said, Valtteri Bottas is likely to be driving for Merc this coming season. A far cry from what we thought.
(Source: F1 Fanatic)