Williams confirmed that Felipe Massa agreed to re-join Williams on a one-year deal. He comes out of retirement to replace Valtteri Bottas. The team released the Finn to join Mercedes for the 2017 season.
Felipe will race for a fourth consecutive season with Williams. Lance Stroll will be his teammate. Stroll will make his Formula One debut in the 2017 F1 championship.
Speaking about the announcement Felipe Massa said:
“Firstly, I am very happy to have an opportunity to return to Williams. I always intended to race somewhere in 2017. But Williams is a team close to my heart and I have respect for everything it is trying to achieve. Valtteri has a great opportunity and I wish him all the best at Mercedes.
“In turn, when I was offered the chance to help Williams with their 2017 Formula One campaign, it felt like the right thing to do. I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing. I’m extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40. The support from my fans over the last few weeks has been a huge boost and I’m grateful for that. I also look forward to working with Lance; I’ve known him for many years and seen his talent develop during that time, so I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said:
“I’m delighted that Felipe has agreed to come out of retirement to be a part of our 2017 campaign. With Valtteri having a unique opportunity to join the current Constructors’ Champions, we have been working hard to ensure that an agreement could be made with Mercedes to give Valtteri this fantastic opportunity.
“Valtteri has been part of the Williams family since 2010 and in that time has proved a huge talent, securing nine podium finishes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the whole team, and wish him a successful season as he joins Mercedes.
“Felipe was always going to race somewhere in 2017, as he has not lost that competitive spirit, and it was important that we had a strong replacement in order for us to let Valtteri go. Felipe re-joining us provides stability, experience and talent to help lead us forward. He is a great asset for us.
— Felipe Massa (@MassaFelipe19) 16 January 2017