Williams F1 team retain Massa, Bottas for 3rd straight season

  • AFP, New York
  • Updated: Sep 03, 2015 22:50 IST
Williams Formula One Team driver Felipe Massa of Brazil at the Monza racetrack, in Monza, Italy , on September 3 , 2015. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will drive for the team for a third consecutive season, the team announced on Thursday. (AP Photo)

The Williams Formula One team announced on Thursday that Felipe Massa of Brazil and Valtteri Bottas of Finland will stay with the team for a third season, ending speculation that Jenson Button could return to the team which gave him his start in Formula One in 2000.

Button had been linked with a move back to Williams for 2016, but team principal Frank Williams, said he was delighted to retain Massa and Bottas for another campaign. "I'm delighted to confirm that Felipe and Valtteri will be racing for Williams once again next year," he said on Thursday.

"Stability is key for any team to thrive in Formula One, so to be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum towards the front of the grid in 2016.

"I am really pleased to be staying with the team for a fourth F1 race season," said Bottas, who joined the Williams race set-up in 2012 before making his Grand Prix debut a year later. "We have been getting stronger as a team and I look forward to what next year will bring, as I believe we can achieve even stronger results than what we have seen so far."

Massa, who moved to Williams after spending nine seasons at Ferrari, is currently fifth in the drivers' championship ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza. "I am very happy to be a part of the Williams family. I am in my second year here and am so pleased to be staying as we are working very well together as a team," the Brazilian said.

"They respect me a lot and the results are there, and it has been so nice to be part of the big turnaround the team has seen since the end of 2013. I can't wait to carry on and continue pushing even more for the team and for myself."

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