The shortest retirement ever in Formula One? Felipe Massa has confirmed that he will race for Williams next season, giving Mercedes the green light to capture Valtteri Bottas.
The recall of the Brazilian veteran highlights that experience is needed in the Williams cockpit next season to counter the inexperience of promising rookie Lance Stroll.
Massa announced his retirement towards the end of the season, but is already returning to the sport. 2017 will be Massa’s 16th season in Formula One. He will be the one of the oldest drivers on the grid and his experience will be crucial to Williams succeeding in the heavily changed regulations. Detailed driver feedback will be crucial next season with the production line conveyor belt of new components likely to be packed with in-season upgrades.
The confirmation of Massa makes it incredibly likely that Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes next season will be Valtteri Bottas. The Finn has a task-and-a-half ahead, the difficulty of having Hamilton as a teammate pours offtrack if the past few seasons are measured.