Felipe Massa, Williams, Interlagos, 2016

Williams ‘offer £5m for Massa return’

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In the round-up: Williams are pursuing mFelipe Massa to make an immediate return from retirement to replace the potentially Mercedes-bound Valtteri Bottas.

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Quite a few of you are concerned a return for Felipe Massa wouldn’t be a wise move:

Please Felipe don’t come back. Once you’ve said good bye, coming back is a not a good idea. Same for Jenson.

I think its more or less settled that Bottas is headed for Mercedes, but I’d doubt Wehrlein will go the other way. We’ve been reading that Martini aren’t too impressed with the prospect of two drivers either side of 20 marketing their product, so they’d be pushing for an experienced hand…the question is who?

In many ways, its actually more interesting to speculate who would fill the Bottas seat at Williams. I’d count Felipe Massa and Jenson Button out (but hey, stranger things have happened).

Is there an experienced hand currently in F1 they can snag? Its pretty slim pickings, there isn’t a whole load of choice in the current crop is there? I’d count out the likes of Felipe Nasr and Esteban Gutierrez, simply because they aren’t good enough.

I cant think of anybody other than Jean-Eric Vergne that may fit the bill. He’s experienced, heavily involved with Ferrari, so he’s still ‘in the loop’, and more importantly, he’s raced this formula before. Its either this or they go to lure a former F1 driver back to the sport? Sebastien Buemi perhaps?

Having said all this, I’m pretty sure Williams will be looking to persuade Massa or Button back.

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  • 133 comments on “Williams ‘offer £5m for Massa return’”

    1. Would be great to see Massa back, but Actually Mercedes should give one of their young drivers a chance. Just as McLaren did with Lewis.

      1. Or rather, Williams should not miss a good chance for signing another young prospect.

        1. @peartree I am a fan of your posts, and am interested in your take on the Williams Before Xmas Emergency

          1. @ferrox-glideh I don’t know if you mean it or you are being sarcastic and funny, in a good way.
            Williams is jumping up and down.. Well Claire is (sorry for that). Great opportunity. Toto makes Mercedes pay Williams (Toto perhaps still has shares in Williams), Williams then releases Bottas, Toto makes Mercedes sign Bottas, Toto earns a big bonus. Williams signs another pay driver, maybe Filipe maybe Pascal, Merc could chip in a little bit more on Pascal.
            Money is always good news.
            …Martini not wanting an under 25 driver is like Heineken not sponsoring f1 over Max…

            Merry Christmas To to to.

            1. I meant it, and thank you. Happy holidays!

        2. I agree, but, they feel that they need some experience in the Car, MOST\Some drivers take a little time to adjust to F1 (Grosjean / Palmer) and they have already given half their driver seats to young and relatively inexperienced drivers, with a year of major change, I expect they want a “reliable driver” with feedback experience, rather than two rookies .. maybe someone who can give feedback on their new car compared to Last. I think speed is a great headline when it comes to fans, but there is more to it than that .. I never ratted DC, always beaten by his team mate, and yet Adrian Newey worked with him at McLaren, Willaims and Redbull for long hauls … must have known something I didn’t

        3. According to the article @peartree the problem with the young drivers is their age.

          Martini cannot use a driver that is younger than 25 years old to promote their product, therefore Williams is in a position that has them searching for someone capable of bringing experience and maintain their main sponsor happy.

          1. I love Massa, but I dont want him to come back. He left at the right time.
            Plus, its not like there’s a shortage of drivers with experience. They could poach former F1 drivers from Formula E or Indy. Or maybe from Le Mans. There’s also Felipe Nasr or Romain Grosjean (though I think his attitude last year hurt his prospects).

            Also I know sponsors are concerned about two young drivers, but honestly if they’re as talented as Stroll and whoever else they partner him with and get results, no one will care in 4 races time.

          2. the problem with the young drivers is their age.

            damned who would have thought that..

            1. Well, as opposed to lack of experience. Normally age is just the cause, in this case, it itself is the problem.

          3. I’ve heard that before, there was also the excuse for the late Stroll announcement, waiting for his 18th birthday. I’m not saying you are wrong @johnmilk but it feels like an excuse to me. Williams is in cloud 9 this Christmas. Cashing in a check on their former prospect, and possibly signing, (or re-signing) a strong commercial driver.

            1. @peartree it probably is, I just translated the article from Globo 😉

    2. Jean Eric Vergne is one I’ve said I’d love to see come back with this new vacancy.

      Since 2008, of the nine Toro Rosso drivers so far, 4 have been promoted, 1 demoted and kept, 1 still there now. The other 4 were good drivers worthy of a seat, and personally I rated Algersuari and Vergne as potential champions. Instead they were basically dumped out of F1.

      Vergne very much deserves a chance in a seat I think. He’s raced recently enough that he’s still experienced enough to be good after a bit of simulator time, and as cotd said, he’s been working with Ferrari too. He’s 26 so he has still got plenty in him to give.

      1. To add to that, I think Kvyat’s performance at Red Bull was proof that they made the wrong decision in promoting Kvyat so soon, and dumping Vergne. Okay, if Vergne was at Red Bull we probably wouldn’t have seen Verstappen promoted to the top team, however they probably would not have needed to.

        1. mm, interesting thought.. then Verstappen would be in a Merc next year.

      2. Totally agree @strontium. I don’t know why he hasn’t at any point been mentioned. It was supposedly a close call between him and Ricciardo for the promotion to Red Bull.

        1. If it was such a close call, then why not have them both test @ Silverstone? If it was such a close call why dump JEV altogether?

          RBR have all the data there, DR trounced JEV in qualifying and on paper in the standings in 2012 while it looked like JEV was close in races, it was not like that at all. There’s a big misconception that JEV was close to DR, it was anything but a handful of mixed/rain races that made JEV look better than it was. Kvyat was dumped in part to his abysmal qualifying record this year, JEV had an equally bad record against DR.

          1. This doesn’t mean that promoting Kvyat instead of JEV lakes sense though.

          2. Hemmmm yeah @pete, now I check the qualy stats
            I see JEV vs Ric was one of the biggest differences, 15-5 and 0.32s average. Still, JB was even worse against Lewis, and Ric is supposed to be as good as anyone right now.

      3. Antonio Carlos
        18th December 2016, 9:36

        I agree completely with you. I always thought Vergne deserved has been hired by Toro Rosso, instead of Kyviat.

    3. Massa is the most fortunate driver I know of with such a loooong career yet average talent. More talented people have come and gone, the likes of Heidfeld, Buemi, Vergne, and Frijns didn’t even make it to F1 yet Massa just plods on.

      1. That’s because he was above average at a certain point of his career. And now because he have an above average car knowledge.

      2. Heidfeld I’d say was nearly as good, but Buemi was average at best, same as Vergne, and Frijns? hahahahahahaha what are you smoking man?

        1. Barrichello, Rosberg, Raikonen, Massa, Heidfeld, Frentzen, Button, Webber, Ralf Schumacher etc. All of them was average drivers and above average at some point of their careers. There’s no huge difference between them. That’s just my opinion. The only drivers that are really one level above in recent years are Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso. And now Riccardo and Verstapen, but both need to show a bit more yet. Bottas fall in the first group for me.

          1. +1 Mine too.

    4. Why not Maldonado? He’s experienced, he tested the new Pirellis, the team knows him.

      1. Maybe they can get Mercedes to pay for all the spare parts they’ll need.

      2. He probably burned his bridges on the way out of Williams by making ridiculous and unfounded allegations.

    5. Why must people know everything about Schu?

      To me, he suffered a catastrophic event and has suffered the sequels from that. Anything else I do not need to know, nor see why anyone this side of a heathy mental status should.

    6. “LEW’S NO PARTY ANIMAL Lewis Hamilton’s No1 girl in F1 defends his playboy lifestyle and claims the three-time world champ is ‘not a party boy”

      Why would she “claim” he’s not a party boy? She spent the entire with him, told how many parties he went to & other things he does, so what’s there to “claim”? Seems like when anyone offers a positive POV of Hamilton, it’s met with derision.

      But then again, this is the Sun, that’s all that needs to be said.

      1. Could be worse…. could be news from the judge!

    7. Barrichello maybe? :D

      1. Antonio Carlos
        18th December 2016, 9:40

        Neither Brazilian nor I agree with Barrichello’s return to F1. It will be very funny.

      2. I hear Stirling Moss is available, I think he’s old enough to promote alcohol.
        Then again, given his history of sportsmanlike behaviour (Portugal 1958), maybe he’s not the right fit for modern F1.

        1. Lol Niki Lada could probably get in that Williams and teach Stroll a few lessons.

          1. What about Alain Prost he is certainly relatively mature and would probably give all of the current bunch a run for their money. ‘I am not joking’.

            1. LOL. I don’t think he could handle the amount of G forces at 60+ years old. ;)
              but I do agree with you. Prost raced and dominated in an era when F1 cars when tremendously difficult and dangerous to drive at the limit. I really believe he would drive competitive laps right off the bat in a new F1 car.

      3. I wonder if Brendon Hartley had been considered. He was in the team that won the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015.

    8. Williams already have a great driver as their spare – Paul di Resta. Seems like a pretty easy call to me.

      1. Good point. I personally wouldn’t complain about that!

        1. Poor choice if that was even being considered.

      2. di Resta has a couple of seasons experience in his bag, might also had some time in the simulator, but as he skipped the last few years in F1, I would say he might not be the best solution to lead the car development in which Williams is lagging way behind, and also might not be the best tutor for a rookie. Massa would be a better solution for this purpose, but we don’t know for sure why he decided to leave F1, was he really burned out and had enough, or with Canadian money flowing in, he didn’t want to end up in backmarker teams which could have exploited his knowledge. I certainly don’t envy Williams for the situation, as they need Bottas now more than ever, however, Bottas is in a phase of his career that he needs a chance in a top team instead of fading into the midfield with Williams. considering, that except for Wehrlein (and we shouldn’t count Gutierrez and Nasr) every current driver has a contract, not only Bottas, maybe Mercedes would be more successful knocking on other teams doors…

        1. @andrewt Felipe saw what happened to Rubens. He jumped before he was pushed.

          1. Thought the same, and considering how strong his season start was, the burnout theory just doesn’t fit here.

    9. WOW! This off season is getting as dramatic as a TV drama after Rosberg’s retirement.

    10. Maybe they can convince our Nige to make a return.

    11. Waaaait a second: the Schumacher family have completely locked out the fans from information and refused to give out any details regardless of how much the fans care or are concerned, which is their right, but now want to set up a charity to get the support of the people they refused to acknowledge? They have every right to refuse information but to then expect those same fans to give them money and support all of a sudden is a bit hypocritical.

      1. How ? If the family want to keep it private that’s their choice. If they want to set up a charity that’s again their choice. If anyone wants to give to the charity, guess what, it’s their choice. No one is owed the right to know anything about anyone’s personal matters unless they choose to share. The setting up of a charity is completely unrelated to sharing personal details

        1. Try explaining that to someone who will give their opinions away for free on the internet. :)

        2. @Tom Very well said. And in a way I think the fact that the family wants to organize this now, and that it is about never giving up, tells us all we need to know…MS is still in a fight and he and his family aren’t giving up. I don’t know what further details people feel entitled to know that is worth the family going against what they think is best in a difficult situation. His true fans will embrace the family’s effort and get behind it rather than use their energies negatively just because their need to know the sad details aren’t being met.

          1. I would like to know at least if he is comfortable and making progress. As I would want to know for anyone I knew, even if it’s only through TV. That is what celebrity is. Stonewalling everyone is their right but they don’t get any sympathy from me or cash.

            1. @Tiomkin if you work on that principle, you’re a odd human being. The fact that any person is a celebrity does not preclude their privacy – that is merely what the media have conditioned ‘fans’ to believe to justify them continuing to take and sell pictures of said ‘famous’ figures and drive their bank balances.

        3. Of coarse it’s their choice. I even said that. But it’s interesting they choose to block out all fan involvement, until they want the fan’s money. But even then it’s give us the cash and that’s it. And if they want to, fine, but a strange expectation.

      2. I actually had a similar thought when reading those. I can completely understand if they want their situation to be private, but is strikes me as an odd request to ask for fans’ involvement when that’s what they’re seemingly trying to block.

      3. If they don’t want to keep his fans updated once in what is it, 3 years now? Guess what? I no longer care about his health or well being…

        We get it, you don’t like photographers sneaking into a hospital to take photos of your loved one, we don’t want that either. But as a common Curtesy to his fans, a simple “he’s in the best hands possible , but things aren’t looking good”

        Instead they do a complete media blackout , which leaves people assuming things.

        I doubt he will ever be the same. Not even as much as Tracy Morgan. Their silence says everything they refuse to say in other ways.

    12. Ricciardo’s retirements flattered Kvyat in 2015.

      1. @guybrushthreepwood Thank you. I think Kvyat should take a good look at each race before he’d say things like this. For me there has been one race where Kvyat was better than Ricciardo and that was the 2015 Mexican GP.

      2. Vettel’s retirements flattered Ricciardo in 2014

        1. Oh come on. That wasn’t about the points difference. Ricciardo was faster in almost every race. On the odd occasion that Ricciardo was driving behind Vettel, he was usually right behind being held up.

      3. Exactly. Also, they had nothing to lose that season anyway, so you can hardly fault Ricciardo trying to fight to the death for a sporadic possibility of a win in Hungary. In the end perhaps he tried to hard and it got away from him, but he clearly was the better driver and at least he tried.

        It’s the same nonsense like saying Button was better than Hamilton because he scored more points in 2011.

    13. Mercedes should give Massa a 1 year contract – That makes more sense than him joining Williams. Atleast he will bow out with more points than what he did in 2016.

      1. Yes, I think that would be a good option. If the suggestion that Massa’s retirement wasn’t very amicable, then going to Mercedes will save him having to work with the people that gave him the push.

        1. @drycrust Massa wasn’t ‘pushed’. He saw that the Stroll-machine was circling and decided to (figuratively) hang up his helmet & gloves rather than dig his heels in and be punted out in the off-season like his compatriot Barichello was.

    14. What about Buemi? the guy is fast and is very sucessful in everything he drives, both WEC and Formula E. I rate him much higher than JEV to be honest.

      Massa has nothing else to give Williams other than a driver old enough for Martini’s sponsorship deals. I hope he gets that, and refuses the 5 million quid offer to come out of retirement. He knows full well that F1 is done business for him.

      1. Agree on Buemi and Massa. Still think di Resta would be Williams best move as a stop gap driver since he knows the team, and whatever he learns during the year he will be there to pass on.

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        18th December 2016, 9:00

        Buemi has given a great account of himself post-F1, and is known for being a good test and simulator driver, who could therefore fill the feedback-hole, you could be on to something @fer-no65

      3. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        18th December 2016, 10:59

        I always thought Buemi was massively underrated and he’s won everything he’s entered and his work ethic and attitude always stands out. As a Williams fan I would absolutely love him to join. I would also be happy with JEV or Di Resta. However imo a line up of Massa, Stroll would be the worst Williams line up in their entire history. It’s all very well getting a lot of money for development but they will be losing half a second a lap with those drivers. Absolutely no chance of getting even 5th in constructors with Massa leading the team. Stroll is an unknown quantity but I think it’s clear that he’s the ultimate epitome of a pay driver.

      4. Buemi? Di Grassi almost won the champioship with a slower car and besides that was one of the best drivers of WEC this season. Buemi is good, but Di Grassi have more talent.

    15. I have no doubt that Bottas will be going to Mercedes, but I predict it will be in 2018. It would be massively unfair to Williams to give up on any driver continuity, and Wehrlein could benefit from some pointer’s from a driver of Lewis’s caliber at Mercedes. Nico’s departure shook things up, but calmer heads should settle the waters. Knowing that there are going to be a significantly new formula for next year, then conservative approaches should prevail among the top teams, as they have in the past.
      On another aspect of the continuing story, it is clear that Massa would lose face if he came back after his dramatically unprecedented retirement event. Actually, it is slightly insulting for William’s to even make him the offer publicly. I have always been a big fan of William’s, and I hope that they have the guts to keep Bottas for one more year, and let Massa have his graceful retirement.
      Stroll money should have decided this whole thing already… :)

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        18th December 2016, 4:30

        As soon as Mercedes leaked to the press that they made an offer, Bottas was gone.
        Most likely physically. But if Williams wanted to keep him to his contract he would have been ‘gone mentally’.
        And IMO Bottas needs a challenge to deliver; just look at 2016 how mediocre he became when Massa started to race in a ‘retired mode’.

        Which brings me to Massa: I can’t see him get back to his best. Not even sure he will do as mediocre as in 2016. 5-6M is a lot of money as an ‘actor’ for Martini!

        1. I agree with you on the Bottas part there @coldfly. But I am not sure about Massa. He didn’t make the impression that he felt like giving up. Just that he chose rather to bow out than to seek employment further down the grid once it became clear that Williams would be having Stroll to replace him.

          Yes, his 2016 certainly was really short on highlights, but maybe with given another year he would be boosted to show himself once again?

    16. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      18th December 2016, 3:10

      Has anyone considered that Massa might not want to go back to Williams but instead would rather take Nico’s spot at Mercedes?

      I can’t see Massa trying to do Bottas a favor by coming out of his retirement so that Bottas can drive the Mercedes…

      Mercedes needs an experienced driver, Massa is not going to settle as a substitute driver for Bottas. He just retired and it’s been very emotional for him.

      I’d personally rather see Hulkenberg go to Mercedes and Massa go to Renault with some kind of financial benefit from Mercedes.

      1. Massa to Mercedes, you heard it here first!

        1. @ferrox-glideh I’ve been reading your comments too. I like yours too.
          @freelittlebirds That’s more logical than whatever is going on in the press. I do know they get inside info but, if Mercedes has to pay for Bottas, they might as well take Massa, Toto wants to sign his boy but Brazil is a big country, great publicity and Massa is a safe pair of hands and a decent driver. And what you’ve said about Massa coming out of retirement to go back at Williams for whom he supposedly retired, makes no sense.

      2. Free little birds, chirp chirp! ;-)

    17. Massa to Mercedes, you heard it here first!

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        18th December 2016, 12:43

        Not in a million years. They’ll want someone at least half decent.

        1. @rdotquestionmark

          Williams wants him back so he’s obviously good enough to lead the team in Bottas’ absence. He’s not much worse than Bottas and has way more experience than he does dealing with a top team. Up front, things will clear up a bit and that will help Massa.

          1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
            19th December 2016, 8:44


            Unfortunately that’s because Williams are desperate and after a little continuity with the new regs coming in. Massa was woeful this season and isn’t going to get any better with even more age. Definitely the right time to go. I just worry about Williams ambitions chasing a proven C grade, well past it driver. Very disappointing considering Claire stated they would be after a big name for this season a couple of months ago. I don’t mean to be too harsh to Felipe, but I’ve seen nothing in him post his 09 accident. I think he was flattered in 2015 by an overrated Bottas.

    18. The decision making at Williams is decidedly questionable…. Is there any info out there on what it is that Mercedes are offering them in return for Bottas? Being a customer team is one thing, being a client team is not what Williams should be.

      1. Williams is a client of Mercedes, but more fundamentally a supplier to Formula One Management, under contract to provide two, credible race cars at each F1 Grand Prix, in order that FOM meets their contractual obligations to TV broadcast rights holders and race promoters. Williams are a supplier to “fill the field”, just like Force India, Saber, Manor, Torro Russo. It is that simple.

        1. I do like your cold objectivity. I guess more accurately I should have said I wish Williams were more than just another team.

      2. Probably around 15 or 20 million in cash.

        And like most people here, I don’t understand them signing Massa. It’s not a long term strategy. JEV and Di Resta are young and fast. Because what are Williams gonna do in 2018, sign Princess Pascal?

        1. Most likely it will be about some 10 million lower engine bill, and maybe they will be paying Massa? Or part of Massa’s salary @maciek, @paeschli. I think Mercedes is willing to spend up to about what they would have been paying Rosberg (app. some 21 million – because the budget would have already been signed off by the board by now it would be complicated to find more), with say 5 million for Bottas salary, then some 10 for the engine that leaves room to support Williams in offering Massa a good salary and save a bit for themselves too.

        2. @paeschli, as BasCB notes, the only figure which has been floating about is the offer that Williams apparently rejected, which was a €10 million discount on Williams’s engine supply.

          With regards to Williams’s long term strategy, at the moment I would presume that, if they do agree to let Bottas go (which is not yet certain), the idea of using Massa as a stop gap is so that they can make a clearer decision over the whole of 2017, rather than rushing into getting another driver.

          With regards to those other drivers, Vergne might in fact be a slightly tricky proposition because of his role at Ferrari as a development driver – Ferrari may not wish to release him at short notice given it may compromise their development programme for 2017. As for di Resta, I believe that one of the criticisms that was levelled at him whilst at Force India was that he was relatively poor when it came to development work and feedback, something which would be an issue given that Williams want their experienced driver to lead the team in that area.

    19. F1 has become a joke on so many levels. Can you imagine Ken Tyrrell luring Jackie Stewart out of retirement for 1974?

      1. Considering how often he attacks Lewis, I’d love to see him at Mercedes next season to show Lewis how it should be done.

      2. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        18th December 2016, 13:34

        Yes its a joke that a team needs an experienced driver, my sides are splitting.

      3. Maybe they should take Villeneuve.. At least one of the Merc drivers will attack VES every race.

    20. “Williams offer £5m for Massa return” – Sounds like a response to a ransom note.

      What if Massa, just like Rosberg, has already decided that his time with family is more important at this stage of his life? Wasn’t he essentially “asked” to retire to give Stroll an opening and all that comes with that? Now he is being asked to come back by the same people that asked him to leave, but do it for a share of the cash it would bring to Williams? Not sure if it is more ironic or just bizarre that the going and coming of Massa would be responsible for Williams raking in such large sums of money.

      Williams is one of my favorite teams, but this whole set of somewhat complex circumstances clearly demonstrates what the biggest influence in F1 has become. Money. Stroll and his father’s money coming in. Having the correct driver combination to keep sponsors, like Martini, happy to keep that revenue flowing. Letting their best driver go (likely) for big money and to keep their engine supplier happy. The politics of money and survival for a smaller independent F1 team in this era, I suppose. The inequitable revenue sharing in F1 certainly does not help. Instead of building the fastest car, putting the best driver in the seat and winning races, mere survival becomes the victory cry.

      1. @bullmello, if you think that money has never been the biggest influence in the sport, then you are sadly mistaken.

        Frank Williams himself knew a lot about teams that could barely scrape along as he regularly sold a seat at the team in the early 1970’s when he was barely surviving – the sorts of antics that he got up to at Frank Williams Racing Cars are fairly well documented (for example, he once sold a seat to a local driver in the Japanese GP, only to then throw him out of the seat after a single practise session when somebody else put in a bigger bid). And as for complaining that the team has let their best driver go for money – isn’t that essentially what has happened for pretty much the entire existence of the sport?

        1. As a 50 year fan of F1 I have no illusions that things are not the same as they ever were. But, one would think that the era of the ‘Garagistas’ had been over for some time now.

          Williams have technology business interests that reach beyond F1 racing. They have attracted lucrative sponsorship deals. They have employed a young, possibly talented, driver that has also brought a cash infusion to the team. They have one of the best young stars in F1 in Bottas to lead the team this season.

          Then Mercedes comes along with their demands treating Williams no better than a Garagista from years past. One of my favorite quotes from a former boss is, don’t make your problem my problem. Even though Williams has come a long way from their humble beginnings the disparity between them and Mercedes AMG would be laughable were it not so preponderous.

          So, same as it ever was, the rich get richer. The Garagistas are dead. Long live the Garagistas!

      2. I think that the 5 million certainly has to do with having to “make it up” to Massa a bit (I doubt he would be “worth” that on current form if it were not part of the money coming from Mercedes to get Bottas) @bullmello.

        But I can see how Massa would want to get another season in, since he didn’t really want to stop in the first place (making place for Stroll)

        1. @bascb – It will be fascinating to see if Massa takes the carrot and comes back. In some ways, I hope he doesn’t having already made up his mind to retire. But, he is a grown man and will have to decide if the money is worth it.

    21. With Felipe back, a statistical question:

      Which non-WDC has shared the same car with the most different number of WDC (before, during or after their partnership)?

      Massa must be high up in the list with three (Kimi, Schumi, Alonso), and Bottas having a go at number four. Anyone else?

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        18th December 2016, 8:19

        Vandoorne seems to be at 1WDC per race ;)

      2. @magon4 Fisichella was teammates with Button, Alonso and Raikkonen.

      3. @magon4 Heidfeld also on 3: Raikkonen, Villeneuve, Vettel

      4. Alonso: Hamilton, Raikkonen and Button.

      5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        18th December 2016, 12:55

        Hamilton (Alonso, Button, Rosberg)

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          18th December 2016, 12:57

          Non wdcs durr

      6. @magon4, there are a number of reasonably well known drivers who racked up a total of three at least.

        John Miles was a team mate to three WDC winning drivers (having been team mates to Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt and Emerson Fittipaldi). Trintignant, meanwhile, drove alongside Ascari, Hawthorn and Farina, whilst Tony Brooks was partnered with Graham Hill, Phil Hill and Hawthorn and de Angelis with Senna, Mansell and Andretti.

        The most that I can come up with at the moment would be four for Bruce McLaren, who was paired with Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, Jochen Rindt and Denny Hulme.

        1. Rosberg has been with Shumi and Ham, so that’s a lot of wdc’s :)

      7. Coulthard on 3: Damon Hill, Hakkinen, Raikkonen.

        1. Forgot to mention. Coulthard might be the only driver who shared the same car in one season (1994) with two world champions.
          The first was Senna (for tragic reasons) and later on Mansell a few times.

    22. As a Massa fan,it would be nice to see him for 1 extra year.Personally,i don’t think that the emotions of Brazil & Abu Dhabi will be forgoten or erased.If Massa returns,he will take a year of from his F1 retirement,just like other F1 drivers did(Mansell for instance).As a brazilian journalist said,Massa is not going to return(if) for money and this journalist believes,by Massa’s voice tone,general reactions,that he will be racing in 2017.

      1. I think tire degradation always was the biggest problem for Massa, maybe next year he can be a little faster.

    23. £5Million! Massa you lucky man…
      I have to pay £35 every time I go karting. Must be a world beater

    24. Williams could always use their current test driver Paul di resta, experienced in F1 and how the team works

    25. “Indy 500 winner joins F1 World Champions”

      It’s a good headline. Mercedes’ American commercial department will like it. Liberty will like it.
      Mercedes should get Alexander Rossi. He’s a good driver, has recent F1 experience, probably cheaper to buy out than Bottas and Montoya can jump into the vacant Andretti seat.

      1. Nationality-wise it makes perfect sense. If they are considering putting Wehrlein or Ocon, Rossi should be their top choice.

        It’s getting really annoying not to have an American in Formula 1 and Rossi is F1 material in other ways too – I think the Brits and the other Europeans would understand him when he speaks:-)

    26. @Jaymenon10 I completely agree. Assuming that Bottas is Mercedes-bound, it becomes a matter of choosing the best of a bad bunch for Williams, and I’m not sure Massa is the best. Button would probably be a better choice, but I would be very surprised if he was remotely interested. Of course, what makes things worse is that Mercedes don’t just need a driver, they need a tutor for Stroll.

      Of course, the best scenario would be for Williams to plead force majeure to papa Stroll, delay Lance’s debut for a year, and run a young dynamic duo in Wehrlein and, say, Gasly. I know continuity is important, which is probably the central temptation of Massa, but if he cannot be persuaded Williams have a choice of Nasr, Gutierrez or maybe some blasts from the past in Vergne and di Resta. In any case, Williams are losing points by running Stroll next year without Bottas’ speed and consistency to fall back on, without considering the practicalities of drafting in, say di Resta, who is challenging both in terms of height and the fact that he won’t have undertaken any of the physical training ahead of next year’s monsters.

      Next year is a stop-gap for both Mercedes and Williams, and if I was Stroll I would understand that and realize that it would be better for my career to delay F1 for a year so I could line-up against Bottas when he most likely returns for 2018 (provided of course Mercedes don’t get persuaded of the virtues of a 1-2 driver structure).

      1. Williams needs a bechmark driver to put the development of the 2017 year car in perspective. No new driver can do that. only Massa can.

        1. It’s a very low benchmark though. What would be the point of that?

        2. I don’t remember the exit of Kvyat and Vergne, and the incoming of Verstappen and Sainz doing Toro Rosso’s development and competitiveness much harm. Given the choice been a developmental reference and raw performance, I think any team would prioritize the later.

          1. They still had one bechnmark driver.
            If only one of the drivers is replaced the other one can be used as benchmark.
            If both are replaced, Massa and Bottas in this case, there is no base knowledge about the car and a new driver does not know the differences.
            For development pov a very bad situation!

    27. Well this makes total sense. Felipe saw the writings on the wall when Canadian money was comming in. That is why he retired.

      Same goes for Button, Vandorne was comming and Button took an elegant way out, rather than waiting to get kicked out to the curb.

      Filipe thus is a prime candidate for Williams drive. 5m£ not to bad, for driving a midfield.team.

      They have then around 50m extra to spend on chasis next year. Cheaper engine supply, etc .. Might be a good deal.

      1. @jureo I think it was either Button sidelined or Vandoorne signing elsewhere.

    28. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
      18th December 2016, 13:31

      “I’d count Felipe Massa and Jenson Button out (but hey, stranger things have happened)”

      “Having said all this, I’m pretty sure Williams will be looking to persuade Massa or Button back.”

      Does COTD stand for contradiction of the day? 😂

    29. I can’t believe how underwhelming Massa re-signing would be. Yeah he can snag a few 8th places here and there, but is he really that important to set up the car?

      Okay if Wehrlein is too young for Martini, then DiResta or Nasr at least would have some motivation.

      DaCosta, anybody, Come on – experience is way way overrated.

    30. I never liked Massa.
      I offer him 5€ to stay away from F1.


    31. If Williams isnwilling to pay 5mil to bring Massa back from retirement, imagine how much Mercedes is offering for Bottas.

      1. @brunes
        How much was Massa making before? Was Williams not paying him? Did the sponsors pay his salary which I’m guessing must have been 10 million or so.

        Although 5 is astronomic for normal people, 5 sounds too little to persuade a F1 driver to return…

    32. I 100% respect what Schumachers family have done with keeping everything so private but if I am going to send money or anyone for that matter is going to donate money, should we not receive information as to how it is going to be spent? For all we know Schumi could be doing cart wheels in his room. That’s not meant to be offensive. We should know more because I bet and hope they receive the money they need.

      1. Good point.

        Just curious, is the charity for Schumacher’s benefit or the benefit of others suffering with similar injuries?

        1. Benefit of others who suffer and need uplifting support; similar to ‘keep fighting’ message.

          Nothing in this charity is linked to Schumacher’s condition or benefit him (other than being linked as a positive halo to his name)

    33. Would have been a cheaper if merc just signed Massa for a year

    34. Jos Verstappen to Williams!

    35. Let’s be honest Massa phoned it in from somewhere around the middle of the season. Coming back and doing that for a whole season would be a shame, especially after he got a really good, send-off in Brazil (in pretty unique circumstances for modern F1) and it felt like the timing was pretty much spot on. It would also mask what young Stroll’s potential was relative to the two.

      With the best of respect to Williams, can they really not think of any other alternative replacements for Bottas that aren’t Massa? I don’t think he’s the best potential replacement out there but even in a pinch Di Resta will do at least as good a job as Massa would I think.

    36. And just to reply to myself, Di Resta won’t cost £5m.

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