Massa in, Maldonado out and Bottas stays at Williams in 2014

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Felipe Massa will race for Williams next year, the team has announced.

Massa, who is set to leave Ferrari at the end of the season, will partner Valtteri Bottas in 2014.

“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.

“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.”

Frank Williams said Massa 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.”

Bottas is also being retained by Williams for a second season. “Valtteri is a valued member of the team and I’m pleased he was able to demonstrate his talent in tricky conditions in Montreal,” said Williams. “There is much more to come from him.”

Bottas has endured a difficult debut season with the team as the FW35 has been well off the pace. “I have faith in Williams and I know we can do so much better in the future than our current performance shows,” he said.

“I am looking forward to having Felipe as my team mate. 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. I would also like to thank everyone at Williams, especially Frank, Claire and the senior management for their ongoing trust in me.”

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said Massa’s hiring was “part of a number of announcements we will be making over the coming weeks”.

“The stability of having both our drivers on multi-year contracts, Mercedes-Benz as our engine partner and a strong commercial base all contribute to the future success of the Williams F1 team,” she added.

The team thanked outgoing driver Pastor Maldonado, who is set to leave the team, “for his efforts and contribution over the past three seasons, in particular delivering the team’s Spanish Grand Prix victory last year”.

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209 comments on Massa in, Maldonado out and Bottas stays at Williams in 2014

  1. Rick (@viscountviktor) said on 11th November 2013, 17:17

    I am sooo happy my favourite driver has found a seat. With Smedley and Brawn joining, I think Williams could be good next season. I would also like to thank Frank for not keeping a talentless driver with tons of money. Forza Felipe.

  2. Mayank (@mjf1fan) said on 11th November 2013, 17:25

    As much as I’m happy for Massa Getting the Williams drive, I’m having a sinking feeling that Hulkenberg will again be in a mid field team battling for lower end points instead of podiums . I wish Hulk had a great luck and he bagged a seat in top end team which he deserve .

    I also heard few days back that Smedley is also going to Williams, so we might not miss Smedley- Massa radio conversations. :)

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 11th November 2013, 17:37

      It’d be the icing on the cake if the Smedley-Massa bromance could continue! However I’ve read rumours that Smedley would be getting some kind of promotion if he joined Williams, so we’d probably miss the radio conversations.

      As for Hulkenberg, I’d be relieved just to see him on the grid next year. It’s a sad state of affairs when one of the biggest young talents in the sport is in jeopardy of being pushed out, or at the very least having his progress to a quicker car or a bigger team being impeded by a lack of money and sponsorship.

      • Mayank (@mjf1fan) said on 12th November 2013, 6:32

        I think Eddie Jordan said it right when he said Hulk to FI, Massa to Williams and Maldonado to Lotus. Lets wait and watch where does Hulk go.

        As for Massa and Smedley bromance, yes it will be missed but then we have got Seb and Rockky.. :)

  3. Lukebbz said on 11th November 2013, 17:35

    Everything hinges on the Quantum deal. If the money arrives at Lotus, they’ll sign the Hulk and Maldonado will take his money to F.I. If not, Maldonado will go to Lotus and that leaves the Hulk in a tricky situation – Sauber aren’t paying him, and I doubt F.I. are awash with cash either. Stick or twist?

    The kicker is what’s happening at McLaren – it sounds like Perez is out on his ear, and there’s plenty of others in the midfield who would court his money. Sauber are cash-strapped but don’t see him stepping back there. A Sirotkin-Gutierrez partnership will have dire consequences for their performance, but I’m not sure where else they’ll get money from – Sutil to partner the young Russian, perhaps?

    Have a funny feeling that both Sutil AND di Resta will be left without seats when the music stops, with the Hulk and Perez in next year’s Force Indias.

  4. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 11th November 2013, 17:42

    This is good news for both Massa and Williams (who continue their strong link with Brazilian drivers). I’m really glad he’s staying in F1 because he deserves to, and the Massa-Smedley partnership can continue! Williams will get a nice amount of cash from Petrobras returning and others so it’s a good deal.
    It’s also a big year for Bottas. I feel he needs to step it up a bit because his race pace so far has been disappointing for someone with so much expectation from the team.
    I don’t think Maldonado should have trouble getting a seat with his sponsorship and speed (often overshadowed by his clumsiness).

  5. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 11th November 2013, 17:48

    Good decision by Williams to retain Bottas and hire Massa which provides a better chance for Massa to prove himself unlike in Ferrari. Congratulations and best wishes to all involved for the next season. Btw, reading between the lines of Claire’s statement, I infer Brawn is on his way to Williams.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 11th November 2013, 21:45

      Or……Daimler Benz acquire majority share in Williams, they like acquiring technology companies and might like the RBR/STR model.

      • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 11th November 2013, 22:53

        That would be interesting. It does sound like something is afoot. Anyways, I’m especially glad Bottas is continuing at Williams. Good move on the part of Williams to sign an experienced driver like Massa for 2014 with the many reg changes. Sure wouldn’t mind seeing Brawn at Williams too.

      • Anirudh s said on 12th November 2013, 2:34

        Where will it leave FI? I thought that FI was the Mercedes B-Team. Or, will they become McLaren B-Team in 2015 with Honda engines??

      • That could certainly work. Lets see if Bird is their third driver next year, or someone like Juncadella. I always wondered if Williams would return to Honda engines after 2015 if Honda want more than one team…

  6. Anele (@anele-mbethe) said on 11th November 2013, 17:53

    massive news. bottas will learn a lot from Felipe, wish them all the best. Next obvious question is where will pastor and his pdvsa millions end up.

  7. AndrewT (@andrewt) said on 11th November 2013, 18:17

    i believe that’s a correct move from both Williams and Massa. maybe he is not competitive enough to fight for wins or titles any more (but who knows what happens at Ferrari, and why they kept him for such a long time despite his seemingly low performace level. conspiracy ftw?), but more than capable of leading a midfield team out of their crisis. it’s an awesome opportunity for Bottas to learn everything he can from an experienced and relatively successful driver (i hope he didn’t learned too much from Maldonado…), and it is fine to see that Williams can afford itself not to have paydrivers (or does Massa bring in some Brazilian background?) meanwhile signing with Mercedes too. a very promising line up, can’t wait to see them next year

  8. This was speculated for long, yet it comes as a surprise for me, and not a welcome one at first. Mainly because I’ve never really liked Williams, although their lack of success recently has helped them a bit in my rankings, but most probably because this ratifies the end of the Ferrari-Massa partnership. One that was announced, but one part of me hoped he left the sport, or returned to Sauber, to remain linked with them, whilst the other part hoped he could get the best possible seat.
    Massa has only raced Ferrari-engined vehicles in F1, although his Saubers were branded as Petronas.

  9. danclapp (@danclapp) said on 11th November 2013, 18:53

    How can people even be happy with this, if he cant finsh ahead of slower cars etc in a Ferrari what makes you think he will bequick in an evem slower car he will be beaten by Bottas no doubt(who i dont rate by the way), why does he deserve Williams, he has raw speed no doubt. Yet goes backwards in races he always holds people up aswell look at Suzuka his 1 goal was to hold Alo up, Alo got past and Massa just went back and back and back and back and back…

    • AlanBoyo said on 12th November 2013, 0:37

      he will be beaten by Bottas no doubt(who i dont rate by the way)

      Your about the only one who doesn’t, Everyone at Williams have been raving about how good Bottas is since his st test with them & a number of other teams have also been hugely impressed with him.

    • Bottas is basically Kimi mk.II. He even shortens the corners in the same way as Kimi is a master of weight transfer. Both two very efficient drivers.

  10. Now I think of it, it’s very fitting for it to be announced today, after Felipe’s goodbye ceremony with Ferrari. It’s like yesterday was the end of an era and today is the start of a new one, without any speculation on his future.
    And although he says:

    When I was a kid, I always dreamed about racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren

    I think he honestly meant what he said yesterday, which was so similar:

    When I began racing in go-karts as a kid, I had a red Ferrari suit and it’s always been the team I supported.

    I just think he’s being nice to Williams and he surely is grateful to them, but Ferrari will always have the biggest part in his heart. He surely dreamed to be in F1, possibly in the top teams, but he really only supported Williams. And he’s saying Williams aren’t that bad a choice once Ferrari is out of consideration. He’s not lying and saying they are his favourite team, but I think that’s remarkably sincere.

  11. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 11th November 2013, 19:29

    I’m disappointed to see that what was once a famous racing team has been reduced to a retirement home for under-performing South American drivers.

    • Robbie said on 12th November 2013, 12:47

      Hmmm…quite the pessimistic outlook. I would suggest that Williams is still famous. My initial thought is then, what makes a team famous? And I suppose I’ll default to WDC’s of which their last one was via JV in 97….16 years ago, which is how long Ferrari’s WDC drought had been going on when MS joined, at which point it took 5 more years. Were Ferrari ever considered once famous, or a retirement home? I at a minimum think Williams always has the potential to at least improve over their previous season, especially in this case with the new regs, a Merc in behind, and FM’s experience. There’s always hope….must be…otherwise Williams and many many others (teams and drivers) would have packed it in long ago with no sponsorship hopes whatsoever…yet they’re here…funded….supported…loved and respected by many.

  12. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 11th November 2013, 19:36

    Deputy team principal Claire Williams said Massa’s hiring was “part of a number of announcements we will be making over the coming weeks”.

    If Ross Brawn moves there, that’ll be fabulous.

  13. ThatF1Fanatic (@thatf1fanatic) said on 11th November 2013, 19:49

    I don’t think Maldonado is actually that bad, people just think that because of the money he brought when he came in and his erratic first season. The Williams that he’s been driving has been dreadful, and he somehow managed to win in it last year.

    Happy for Massa though, looking forward to seeing how he does.

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 11th November 2013, 19:52

      I agree, Maldonado is crash prone but bloody fast, a bit like a modern Montoya

      • I’m pretty sure Montoya had more impressive drives than run-ins with R.Schumacher and more wins, not to mention a title challenge in his 3rd year. Granted, those Williams were better cars, but his overall performance at Williams was a lot more solid than Maldonado’s.

        If anything, Maldonado is a modern ‘Ralf Schumacher in 1997′, talented, but erratic and too crash-prone for his own good. For 3 years now.

      • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 11th November 2013, 21:49

        @paeschli yes but being fast at crashing your car doesn’t help your team. He was barely better than bottas…

  14. Truth be told, I’ve been utterly disappointed with Massa ever since late 2010. He had his ups, I can’t deny that. But overall, he never seemed to be able to make Alonso’s life difficult, and wasn’t given a go by Ferrari, which is still surprising compared to the amount of support he received. Not to mention, Ferrari are a lot happier about Massa finding another seat in F1 than any of their previous drivers ever..

    Still, inherently I like Massa. He practically removed Raikkonen from his pedestal (if not just in my eyes, in general) in 2008 with his amazing year, which wasn’t really a fluke. He’s had some good qualifying performances this year, which is promising. Let’s see what he can do in a Williams. I would have preferred a young driver take his place in F1, but Massa isn’t the worst to keep around and he hasn’t been as bad as 2011 or early 2012 lately.

    • After Raikkonen’s announcements about not being paid, imagine what his autobiography would be like… I wonder if it would contain insights into 2008.. But I can equally see him not bothering to write one!

  15. Mickrock (@mickrock) said on 11th November 2013, 21:16

    Good for Massa, good for Williams.
    Now assuming 2014 is the ‘jockey’ year with the lower weight limit.

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