Is re-heating Massa the best choice for Williams should Bottas bolt?

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Reading an article over at Autosport, it seems that the news outlets fancies a return of Felipe Massa to Williams should Mercedes lure Valtteri Bottas away for 2017. The article says that Williams would only entertain releasing Bottas only, “if an experienced, credible alternative was available”.

The magazine reckons Massa is that experienced driver and could easily slot back into the Williams fold and I don’t disagree with them in the least but I wonder fi that is really what Williams needs?

With Lance Stroll to make his rookie debut in 2017, the team need an experienced driver and while Mass is certainly that, having retired at the end of this season, I’m thinking there may be other drivers that the team could build with. Sergio Perez, Felipe Nasr, Jenson Button (I know, he’s retired too but I think it would be a good move), Carlos Sainz and maybe they could even scare up Roberto Mehri or Will Stevens for a season. On second thought, I think Massa might be a better choice than the latter two but hey, I’m throwing out names here. You were waiting for em to suggest Maldonado or Sutil weren’t you?

What do you think? Honestly, I think at this point, taking Pascal Wehrlein might not be a bad choice should Bottas bolt and to be perfectly frank, I’m not even sure Bottas at Mercedes is the best choice to be honest with you. 

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Achim
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Achim

If Perez or especially Sainz would be available for Williams, I would ask, why would not Mercedes hire them in the first place? Bottas is a great driver, but I must say I rate Perez and Sainz higher. I admit, it was maybe hard to shine in a Williams this season, but Perez and Sainz delivered more outstanding results than Bottas this year.

Schumie Toronto
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Schumie Toronto

For the good of F1, Mercedes should go for Sainz, in exchange for Weirlein at T.R. and Badass stays right where his, to mentor Rich Boy! But it’s never going to happen.

Van Dieu
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Van Dieu

I personally don’t think Massa would bring in any more WCC points than Wehrlein or Nasr over the season. He’s frankly well past his sell-by date and it was a good move for him to retire rather than continuing to slip further from his best. Even if he jumped back in at Williams, how much will he really bring if he knows its just for an extended farewell tour? It can’t be that motivating knowing that you are just keeping the seat warm until a “proper” driver can be hired for 2018.. so by half season he’ll likely have mentally… Read more »

Tim C
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Tim C

I can certainly see why Williams would bring back Massa . . . car development. I understand the regulation changes for 2017 are massive. I’d want someone with experience in my team to help develope the new car. Massa fits that bill quite well. Plus, I don’t think Massa really wanted to retire anyway.

Member

Massa to take over for Bottas seems to be the only move to make for Williams. Felipe has the experience, knows the team and probably drove the simulation also.

If there’s another driver that’s good enough for Willliams, then why wouldn’t Mercedes have hired them directly? Why wait on Williams and Manor to sort out the secondary and tertiary effects from the switchup?

Again, I wonder why Perez isn’t in the running for Rosberg’s seat. He’s at least as good as Bottas, and they’re teams seem to be in similar financial situations.

jiji the cat
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jiji the cat

If merc overlook Sainz they are idiots. For me Bottas has never out classed massa far enough to deserve the spot at merc. Sainz was mad Max’s equal at Torro Rosso. If Bottas does go to merc, if I were running Williams, I would take the gamble and go with youth.

Juho Kallio
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Juho Kallio

Wow people really seem to hate on Bottas around here. Did anyone else on the grid beat their almost WDC team-mate 17-4 in qualifying this year and scored 30 more points.

Max Johnson
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Max Johnson

If you call a company with that much money and employees idiot, then you would be naive to think they don’t have more information than any of us armchair experts about Sainz and his contracts. Which is to say, he’s locked in by Red Bull.

Woo
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Woo

The main reason why Williams cannot go for youth in the 2nd car is simple – contractual obligations. Both Wehrlein and Nasr are still young, Martini’s sponsorship stipulated that one of their drivers must be age 25 and above, otherwise they’ll risk losing their Martini sponsorship. Besides, Lance Stroll’s contract also stipulated an experienced driver in the 2nd car, possibly to mentor Lance. Under that conditions, the best scenario might be to recycle Massa since he fits the bill and has indicated that although he may be retired from F1, he’s not done yet with racing, plus he himself was… Read more »

Marcio Ribeiro
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Marcio Ribeiro

Williams is notorious for prioritizing investments on their car, not their drivers. So the idea that Williams would try to buy out Sainz’s contract from Red Bull sounds naive to me. Like most, I thought it was easier to just put Pascal Wehrlein and let him learn all he can from Hamilton. I find it curious that Mercedes are willing to go to great lengths to secure Bottas and the considerable cut in pu costs they’re offering is great for Williams. For a mature and reliable point scoring racer, I would have gone with Grosjean, however, again, we have a… Read more »

MIE
Editor

Todd, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Nick Heidfeld in the list of experienced older drivers to return to the sport :)

Member
Dr T

Just over looking on wikipedia at the list of Formula 1 drivers who have ever raced and thinking about who is around that might be able to go to Williams if Bottas left (this is in the order they are most recently in on wikipedia) that haven’t been talked about… Alexander Rossi fits the over 25 bill… It’s a pity – I would have really liked to have seen him get a decent crack at F1, especially given that he did well in GP2 even though it was the year when Stoffel wiped the floor with everyone. Got experience in… Read more »

Magnus
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Magnus

With all respect, Massa has been so of the pace, getting worse year by year. We all like him, he’s a lovely person, but to bring him back in a way more demanding car next year, sounds like an awful plan.
I’d go for Button, he’s been beaten well by Alo, but that showed more about the Spaniards talent. JB even reiterated that he believe he might have taken he wrong decision to retire