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Felipe Massa Replaces Pastor Maldonado as Driver at Williams

NOIDA, INDIA - OCTOBER 26:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari walks in the paddock before qualifying for the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on October 26, 2013 in Noida, India.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Leigh WalshCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2016

Felipe Massa is set to join Williams next season after spending eight years with Ferrari, according to Andrew Benson of BBC Sport. 

The Brazilian will link up with Finn Valtteri Bottas when the new season gets underway at the Australian Grand Prix in March next year.

"When I was a kid, I always dreamed of racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and I'm glad to be signing with another icon of the sport,” said Massa, per Benson.

Massa will replace Pastor Maldonado on the British team, bringing an end to the Venezuelan’s three-year stint with Williams.

Maldonado has picked up just one point for Williams this year, and the team currently lie third from bottom in the team standings with two races to go. The Venezuelan had reportedly become frustrated with Williams’ poor form, and the team were equally frustrated with his “erratic” style of driving, according to Benson.

Massa’s new teammate, Bottas, has failed to register a top-10 finish this season, but the young talent will benefit from his new teammate’s wealth of experience.

The 32-year-old, who has 11 Grand Prix crowns to his name, has never won the Drivers’ Championships, but he came within a whisker in 2008 when he lost out to Lewis Hamilton by a single point.

Per Benson, Massa said:

The team wants to grow. It is already a big team but they are really pushing hard to go back to what they were in the past.

It is a team to fight for the championships and good results and I really want to be a part of it. I understand what they are doing to get stronger. I think we can be very successful and I believe it is the best choice compared to the other choices I had.

Massa sits eighth in the Drivers' Championships on 106 points this season, with Ferrari in third place in the team standings. His only podium finish of the year came at the Spanish Grand Prix back in May, when he crossed the line in third place.

As previously confirmed, Kimi Raikkonen will now join forces with Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. It is rumoured—per Benson—that Maldonado could take the spot vacated by the Finn at Lotus.

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