Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa will be joining Williams next season and will be team-mate to Valtteri Bottas
The Ferrari driver will take over from Pastor Maldonado, who will part company with Williams this season. Maldonado is favorite to take the available place at Lotus that Kimi Raikkonen left, despite having offers from Force India and Sauber.
The Venezuelan claimed one victory in his three seasons with Williams, which happened in the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012. That victory was Williams’s first victory since 2004.
Raikkonen was confirmed as Fernando Alonso’s new partner at Ferrari two months ago before the news of Massa’s departure.
Massa has signed for Williams after eight years at Ferrari, in which we won 11 Grand Prix. Massa has been signed to add experience and attempt to help Williams rebuild their team. The Brazilian has signed a three-year contract.
Massa joins a team who have dominated the world of F1 in the 1980’s and 90’s. Williams has scored one point this year in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. And lie ninth out of 11 teams with two races to go.
Massa will be looking to reorganize a programme under technical director Pat Symonds who himself has enjoyed success with former World Champions Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.
Felipe Massa was runner up to Lewis Hamilton in 2008 by a single point in the race to become the World Champion. Massa went on to help Ferrari claim the constructor title back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008.
Felipe Massa is hoping Williams can benefit from a major change in Formula 1 rules to jump up the grid next season and compete with the top teams again.The new rule of a new engine and chassis regulations are being introduced in 2014 season and Massa believes this will benefit himself and Williams.
The Brazilian paid a visit to his new team’s factory earlier this week and looked impressed with what Williams had to offer.
Williams made their Formula One debut in 1978 at the Argentine Grand Prix. In their 35- years the team have taken part in 609 races, claiming 114 victories and notching up 127 pole positions. Williams have had some previous World Champions drive for them, with the likes of Alan Jones, Nelson Piquet and Damon Hill, as well as another four World Champions in the past.
Williams have claimed the Constructors’ Championship nine times, with their first championship in 1980 and their most recent in 1997. From 1992, Williams went on to win the championship three years running.
Felipe Massa career to date:
· Age: 32
· Teams: Sauber (2002, 2004-05), Ferrari (2006-2013), Williams (2014-)
· Debut: Australia 2002
· First win: Turkey 2006
· Last Win:Brazil 2008
· Wins: 11
· Podiums: 36
· Number of races –191 (189 starts)
· Best world championship finish: 2nd, 2008, with six wins
· Wins since 2008: 0
· Career Points – 810
· Pole Positions –15