According to the Brazilian magazine Grande Premio, Felipe Massa has agreed to remain with Williams next year, a move which paves the way for Valtteri Bottas to join Mercedes.
Bottas emerged early on as a contender for Nico Rosberg’s seat at Mercedes but Williams offered a tepid response to the German outfit’s initial outreach.
With the massive regulation changes facing all teams next season and with teenage charger Lance Stroll already signed for 2017, Williams absolutely required an experienced team mate to race alongside the Canadian.
Slowly, Claire Williams warmed up to the idea of losing Bottas to Mercedes however, but under the sole condition that the freshly retired Felipe Massa extend his stay with the Grove-based outfit for at least one more year.
Massa has allegedly accepted an offer to race on, with a figure of approximately £5 million falling into the Brazilian’s pockets, while Williams itself will have no doubt negotiated its own compensation plan with Mercedes in the form of a reduction in costs associated with its supply of Mercedes power units.
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One would also imagine that Williams’ offer to Massa would include a provision rendering the deal null and void if, for any reason, Bottas should not move to Mercedes.
Furthermore, Williams confirmed today that tech boss Pat Symonds has departed the team, a move which could also open the door for the entry of Mercedes man Paddy Lowe who has been in talks with the British outfit recently.
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