Felipe Massa returns to Williams

Felipe Massa returns to Williams

The Brazilian is back at Williams just a few months after he announced his retirement from Formula 1.

Andrew McDonnell

Felipe Massa has shocked the sporting world by returning to Williams just two months after retiring from Formula 1.

The Brazilian has agreed to come back for 2017 not long after he raced, what was, his final race in Abu Dhabi back in November.

Williams needed to act swiftly after Valtteri Bottas completed his switch to Mercedes, and they did with Massa coming in to partner young driver Lance Stroll.

Massa returns to Williams for 2017

Bottas’ move to Mercedes left Williams with a predicament – they needed a veteran to partner teenager Stroll, and they managed to persuade Massa to come out of retirement.

He put pen to paper on a one-year deal and later claimed that he always wanted to continue racing in 2017, but he wasn’t sure where until now.

“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,” Massa told Sky Sports.

“I certainly have not lost any of my enthusiasm for racing and I’m extremely motivated to be coming back to drive the FW40.”

The sensational turnaround comes as a bit of a surprise, given that he said it was the “right time” to retire from the sport.

Williams looking forward to season

Massa will now be competing in his 16th season as a driver and has represented Sauber, Ferrari and Williams and has 11 victories under his belt.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams stated that it was important for the team to bring in a “strong” replacement for Bottas.

Williams, who also spoke to Sky Sports, said: “Felipe has always been a much-loved member of the Williams family and having the opportunity to work with him again is something we all look forward to.”

She said that Massa coming back to Williams will provide “stability, experience and talent” to help move the team forward this coming season.

The other news coming out of F1 is that Pascal Wehrlein will be racing for Sauber in 2017 and will partner Marcus Ericsson.