Felipe Massa isn’t retiring from Formula 1 after all, with Williams announcing he’s coming back for the 2017 season.
Massa’s retirement has probably been one of the shortest in F1 history. Having seemingly signed off his F1 career in Abu Dhabi (after an emotional Brazilian GP), he’s making a return.
Williams has announced Massa has re-joined the team for the 2017 season, taking the place of Bottas after the Finnish driver was “released to join Mercedes”.
So, Williams actually confirmed the Bottas news before Mercedes did.
It’ll be Massa’s fourth season at Williams as he comes back to race alongside 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll.
His experience will be a big boost to the team, especially with Stroll and his lack of running in F1 machinery with these new rules for 2017.
Here’s what Massa has to say on his return:
“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.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) January 16, 2017
“In turn, when I was offered the chance to help Williams with their 2017 Formula 1 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.”