Brazilian F1 driver Felipe Massa and his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas will stay on with the English racing outfit for the coming year, it has been confirmed.
Until last month, there had been fervent speculation that Bottas would be snapped up by iconic Italian racing outfit Scuderia Ferrari, who had at the time not yet renewed the contract of former world champion Kimi Raikkonen. Several analysts and fans had then speculated that the more experienced Finn would be replaced by his younger compatriot, who has been with Williams since his entry into Formula One.
Ferrari ended all speculation last month, however, confirming that Raikkonen would remain with the outfit next season.
The younger Finn has had a strong season this year, with high finishes nearly every race and a podium spot at the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this year at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve.
Felipe and Valtteri would like to make an annoucment
Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas would like to make an announcement...Posted by Williams F1 Team on Thursday, 3 September 2015
In the video posting to Williams’ official Facebook page, the two drivers confirmed they would stay on with the team. The pair have been teammates since the 2014 season, when Massa was signed to Scuderia Ferrari, then replaced by Kimi Raikkonen at the Prancing Horse.
It was announced last week that Force India would also be retaining the services of their driver Nico Hulkenberg for the next two years.
This means that the F1 roster for next year will remain largely unchanged for this year, as every team (with the exception of McLaren) have either confirmed contract renewals, or their drivers are already contracted through the 2016 season in advance.
Rumours continue to suggest potential changes to Jenson Button’s seat, or possibly his career, with several suggesting he will take up a co-hosting gig on the BBC’ reboot of its popular motoring show, Top Gear. These are just speculation, however, with nothing confirmed either by Button or his management.
The only major changes now will be the introduction of the new American Formula 1 team, Haas, into the fray. The team was confirmed to be entering Formula 1 earlier this year after passing the FIA’s rigorous process for the entry of new teams. When the announcement was made, the FIA also confirmed that two other teams had applied to enter F1 but had been rejected. The world motorsport governing body declined to confirm the names, however.
One of the F1 calendar’s most awaited races, the Italian Grand Prix will take place this weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy, and it is rumoured that this may be the last race at the circuit as the track is unable to meet the financial demands of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Lewis Hamilton, who currently leads the drivers’ championships is the ruling champion at the track, and he will look to consolidate his already significant lead and seal a constructors’ victory for team Mercedes as well. It is the home race for Scuderia Ferrari, and their fans, known as tifosi, will eagerly await the race this weekend.