Williams confirms that Felipe Massa has agreed to re-join the team on a one-year deal, coming out of retirement to replace Valtteri Bottas who the team has released to join Mercedes for the 2017 season.
The Brazilian will race for a fourth consecutive season with Williams, alongside Lance Stroll who will make his Formula One debut in the 2017 Formula One Championship.
Having joined Williams in 2014, Felipe has been instrumental in the team’s improved performance supporting resurgence to third place in the Constructors’ Championship in his first and second years.
“Firstly, I am very happy to have an opportunity to return to Williams. 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”, Massa explains.
“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.”
Williams’ Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams appreciates that Massa has agreed to come out of retirement and be a part of the team next season.
“Felipe has always been a much-loved member of the Williams family, and having the opportunity to work with him again is something we all look forward to.
“He was always going to race somewhere in 2017, as he has not lost that competitive spirit, and it was important that we had a strong replacement in order for us to let Valtteri go. Felipe re-joining us provides stability, experience and talent to help lead us forward. He is a great asset for us.”