Who should Williams replace Massa with in 2017?

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Felipe Massa’s decision to retire from Formula One at the end of the season left many hoping for a fairytale reunion between Williams and Jenson Button next year

However the 2009 world champion has since confirmed he will not be returning to the team he made his grand prix debut with in 2000. That leaves Williams with at least one seat to fill heading in to the 2017 F1 season.

Should they pick age and experience or take a punt on a young rookie? Or could they have a more surprising choice lined up? Here are ten potential names they might pick from.

Lance Stroll

17 years • Canada • Euro F3

Having joined Williams as a development driver at the end of last year and now leading the European F3 championship, Stroll is considered a hot tip for the seat. While his youth and inexperience may count against him, the huge backing he brings courtesy of billionaire father Lawrence Stroll will make him hard to turn down. However a season in GP2 first may be a more prudent move.

Alex Lynn

22 years • Britain • GP2

Like Stroll, Lynn was part of a different team’s junior driver programme before joining Williams, in his case Red Bull rather than Ferrari. He’s already a GP3 champion and Macau Grand Prix winner, has tested for the team several times and logged thousands of kilometres in the simulator. But two wins in GP2 flatter what’s been a difficult season for him: both came in reverse-grid races and lies eighth in the standings.

Felipe Nasr

24 years • Brazil • F1

Formerly a Williams test driver, Nasr is now in his second season of racing with Sauber. He’s had a tough introduction to F1 with the struggling team, but fifth on his debut at Melbourne last year demonstrated his potential. He brings some backing, through not as much as Stroll.

Daniil Kvyat

22 years • Russia • F1

Kvyat has already been demoted from Red Bull to Toro Rosso and it’s hard to see him continuing with the team next year. Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly is poised to clinch the GP2 title which would make him a shoo-in for promotion. If Red Bull decide not to park him in another series as they have with other drivers, he could become a free agent.

Antonio Giovinazzi

22 years • Italy • GP2

Giovinazzi is one of two Italian drivers impressing in GP2 this year who are not currently attached to an F1 team. However he was recently given the chance to drive Ferrari’s F1 simulator, and as well as being the series’ top rookie this year he’s within striking distance of Gasly’s championship lead.

Raffaele Marciello

21 years • Italy • GP2

Ejected from Ferrari’s driver development programme at the beginning of this season after five years with them, Marciello is clinging on to the points-leading Prema drivers in GP2. A handful of practice appearances for Sauber last year means his experiences of F1 machinery is fairly recent.

Pascal Wehrlein

21 years • Germany • F1

Mercedes’ junior drivers are queuing up at Manor for a chance to join the top team. But with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg locked down until the end of 2018, could they progress anywhere else in the meantime? Mercedes-engined Williams could be a good stopgap.

Esteban Ocon

19 years • France • F1

Having only arrived in F1 two races ago it’s very early to be talking about a further promotion for Ocon. However the driver who beat Max Verstappen to the 2014 European Formula Three title is highly-regarded, and Renault may also make a bid for his services.

Paul di Resta

30 years • Britain • DTM

Next year’s Formula One cars will produce vastly more downforce than the current ones and with less fragile tyres drivers will have to push them harder, too. That adds up to a good argument for bringing in a driver with experience, and though Di Resta has been out of the cockpit for a while he joined Williams as a test driver earlier this year. The DTM has kept him race-sharp, too.

Tom Dillmann

27 years • France • Formula V8 3.5

The Formula V8 3.5 championship points leader is arguably long overdue a crack at Formula One, having also been a race-winner in GP2. But while Formula V8 3.5 has produced a string of F1 racers: Stoffel Vandoorne, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jnr being just the most recent three – its field is smaller and not as competitive this year.

I say

The driver I would most like to see in this seat next year is Pascal Wehrlein. He’s done well in his first year at Manor, bagged a point and made it out of Q1 more than once.

However as I expect Force India to beat Williams to fourth place in the constructors’ championship and Lance Stroll to wrap up the F3 title he is leading comfortably at the moment, I expected Williams will have the motive and the justification to give a debut to the well-heeled Stroll.

You say

Which of these ten drivers should Williams hire to race for them in 2017? Or should they put someone else in the FW39?

Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Who should Williams hire to replace Massa in 2017?

  • Someone else (4%)
  • Tom Dillmann (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (9%)
  • Esteban Ocon (7%)
  • Pascal Wehrlein (32%)
  • Raffaele Marciello (0%)
  • Antonio Giovinazzi (10%)
  • Daniil Kvyat (7%)
  • Felipe Nasr (5%)
  • Alex Lynn (5%)
  • Lance Stroll (19%)

Total Voters: 234

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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95 comments on “Who should Williams replace Massa with in 2017?”

  1. I think Williams are only really considering two drivers, Stroll and Nasr. Both drivers bring an enormous pay check with them compared to the others on this list. Stroll reminds of Verstappen, quick and talented but do have a crazy side to them where they can be too agressive and cause big accidents. Nasr doesn’t deserve this drive, but has worked with Williams in the past as a reserve and knows them well. I’m surprised that Williams have mentioned plenty of drivers but never mentioned Wehrlein so it seems as if they don’t rate him too much. Wehrlein’s only options are Force India or Manor for next year. Giovinazzi is most likely to join Sauber or Haas if not DTM, and Marciello will certainly leave to DTM for 2017. Di Resta would be the most underwhelming option ever and I forgot that Dilmann even existed anymore. So yeah, Stroll then

    1. Since 2010 Williams has had three Brazilian drivers (Barrichello, Senna and Massa) which is another point in favour of Nasr in addition to his previous experience with the team as well as current experience of F1. But I am slightly surprised not to see Alexander Rossi’s name mentioned in the above speculations (even if his joining the TAG Heuer ambassadors a week ago would probably make him a shoe-in for Kvyat’s seat…)

      1. But the situation changed: Brazil is facing a hard recession and just changed government, so I don’t know for how long Nasr will keep his Banco do Brasil sponsorship. If he signs wtih Williams we will have an answer

        1. Leaving us with the prospect of no Brazilians on the grid next year. Not good news for Interlagos…

          1. Sad, but quite possible, and if it happens, it’ll be the first time since 1969, before Fittipaldi, wtih no brazilians on the grid.

            I think only Britain has a longer streak: Germany had no drivers during most of 1990, Italy, US and Japan are currently without a driver, France had none in 2011, Spain had none in 1992, Finland had none in 1988, Australia had none in 2000…

            Didn’t check the others, but that pretty much covers the most traditional motorsport countries.

            Interlagos can survive a few years without a home driver, because it’s the only race in South America, but the most worrying is the lack of junior talent because of the weakness of brazilian feeder series.

        2. l personally would let Claire decide, she is Guru of Williams!

      2. Nasr…..if Williams want a few cars written off…..the guy is hopeless.

  2. Pascal Wehrlein, he is doing a superb job in the Manor, I would like to see how he goes in a stronger team against a known quantity in Bottas.

    1. @rob91 Is Bottas a known quantity though?

      1. @xtwl, I would argue that Bottas would be a known quantity to Williams at least given that 2017 would be his sixth season in F1 (he’s racked up four seasons as a front line driver from 2013-2016 and a substantial amount of miles as a test driver in 2012 given the number of free practise sessions he was given seat time in).

        By the end of this season, he is going to have nearly 80 race starts under his belt – that is a fair amount of experience to have accumulated by this point in his career. By now, he is effectively at a similar level of experience that Massa was when he was brought into Ferrari and paired with Schumacher and is more experienced than Alonso was when he won his first title in 2005 – based on that alone, I would argue that Bottas is a relatively known quantity by now.

        1. Yeah but is he a know quantity?

          Pastor was his teammate in 2013. Williams were a backmarker team like Renault is this year. Bottas had one great performance in a wet Canada qualy (dropped like a stone in the race) and an unanimous yr otherwise.

          In 2014 Williams were at the sharp end again with only Merc clearly ahead of them and Bottas got a few podiums. However, RIC was the one who showen up whenever the Mercs faltered (in a RBR that was clearly behind Williams that yr) while Massa was beaten by BOT but not by a great margin (general pace, not just points because MAS had way too many DNF ‘ S that weren’t his fault).

          2015 was yet another yr where Bottas performed to his car rather than outperforming it and Massa wasn’t convincingly beaten. This yr Massa is struggling heavily and yet, Bottas does his job well, but never really shines.

          Is he really good? Is the Williams just a shitbox with a Merc in it where even Alonso or Hamilton would struggle to beat Massa with? Is Massa under rated?

          To me Bottas is an unknown quantity and it is taking too long for my taste to come out, to the point that I’m doubting he is. His rather gray personality (from a far, I don’t know him obviously) doesn’t help with this and his driving seems a bit like that too imho: Grey and meh. ..

      2. Yes Bottas is and possibly one of the best drivers on the grid right now. Pascal just got here. Hard to look great in a Manor. If he gets the seat and beats Bottas consistently then I will take notice.

        1. How? Based on his average beating of Massa? On that one time he qualified P3 in Canada? I don’t see it, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m simply not seeing the promise others see in him, which I do see in Wehrlein, Ocon, Sainz, …

      3. @xtwl

        Yes. He’s known to be mediocre. So, if Wehrlein doesn’t show more promise than him, he’s probably never going to land a top drive.

  3. Dillmann? Whose every single tweet is about bashing Formula One? I don’t think so :D

  4. It’s got to be Werleihn.

    They’d get a discount on their engines and one of the best prospects on the grid. Couple that with the Toto Wolff connection, Its a no Brainer really.

    Werleihn is a more or less a proven quantity. Ocon hasn’t had enough time to prove himself (although this could change in the coming months if he starts to pip Werleihn), Nasr’s backing may not be the ideal risk vs cost scenario And Kvyatt has gone of the rails a little with no real connection to the mix.

    Werleihn is the best bet.

    1. I think it’s only possible to call a driver a known quantity when he drives a championship winning car. Frentzen and specially Barrichello were fantastic drivers in the midfield, but disappointed when given a top drive, while their team-mates became champions with the same car

  5. Seeing as they recently put out a statement that they don’t hire pay drivers simply because they bring a large pay check, I am guessing they will hire a pay driver. Stroll or Nasr being my guess.

  6. I think it is down to 3: Stroll, Nasr and Wehrlein.

    I’d personally like to see Wehrlein, he’s done well in the Manor and is a big prospect for the future. One thing I’ve noticed, he’s done really well at tracks he’s previously been to. Many tracks he hasn’t. That should see improvement in his sophomore year.

    Nasr hasn’t lit the world on fire in the Sauber. A back grid driver really.

    Stroll is the most likely because of his (or his daddy’s) £££. It’s really sad to see fathers buying their children seats in F1 but he has shown some promise in F3, though he doesn’t look like a Verstappen.

    Someone I’d like to see in F1 is Oliver Rowland. A talent for the future and is doing well in GP2. He’s on the Renault program which is a good sign.

  7. I can see Mercedes pushing hard for Wehrlein in the Williams seat. He’s shown hints of promise but they’re not going to get the real measure of him at Manor so they need to see him against a proven driver.

    We’ve seen Bottas against Massa, and he hasn’t had the same edge over him that Alonso did. So by pitting Wehrlein against Bottas, if Wehrlein doesn’t have the edge on him then it answers Mercedes question that they probably don’t have another Hamilton in the works.

    I’d suggest it’s possible if they do give the seat to Wehrlein and he doesn’t hit the ground running then a mid-season switch to Ocon could happen as well.

    1. It could be that Massa is performing closer to Bottas than he was against Alonso because there are less mind games and so he can focus more of his energy on driving. We’ve all seen the way Rob Smedley talks to Massa: ‘good boy, good job’. I’ve always felt he needs a shoulder over the arm managerial approach, which means his mindset is dependent on the motivations of dominant personalities around him. Looking at his teammates at Ferrari for example, Schumacher could be said to have been his mentor to an extent, and Massa performed well. Raikonnen is as completely removed from F1 politics as a driver can be and Massa performed strongly. Then comes Alonso, and in addition to the trauma of the Hungary accident, suddenly the Massa we were used to seeing competing for wins if given the car, became an established number 2 driver.

      In my view, Bottas is a strong driver as he has beaten Massa (and of course Maldonado), although ultimately, we don’t know how strong because his teammate has shown putative mental variables affecting their performances.

  8. I would love to see Bottas vs Wehrlein. And I hope Perez moves to Renault to partner Ocon, while Magnussen partners up with Hulkenburg. I would give us a chance to see different drivers pitted up against different teammates

  9. I actually laughed out loud when I saw someone had voted for Paul di Resta

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      11th September 2016, 16:12

      @dr-jekyll He might have an account here.

    2. @dr-jekyll I laughed when I saw Di Resta as a candidate. He wasn’t even good enough when he was in F1…

    3. So far, DiResta is higher rated in this poll than Alex Lynn, Felipe Nasr, Daniil Kvyat, Raffaele Marciello, Esteban Ocon, andTom Dillmann. Who did you vote for?

    4. Im one of them!!! I might be a bit bias though, as im from scotland!

    1. Could not afford a manor seat for a season and got destroyed by werhlein.

      So IF he was in for The seat he should outpay nasr and stroll

    2. Very unlikely..

      If I want to see Indonesian sponsor, that would be Giovinazzi..

  10. I wonder if Susie Wolff could have been in competition for the 2017 drive if she hadn’t retired at the end of last season. Maybe she would have been considered. I voted for Alex Lynn, as Williams has a kind of a tradition to give the chance to its test drivers, however, I don’t think it would happen. Felipe Nasr didn’t do anything special in the Sauber to earn this seat, but the team knows him and he is able to bring in a buttload of money, which is essential if the team keeps falling behind the development race. So I don’t think Nasr should be signed, but I guess he will be.

    1. @andrewt
      These are the two drivers that jump out at me too. I can’t see Wehrlein at Williams, and Stroll needs more time.

      I seem to rate Nasr higher than most here, I think given a half-decent car he could do well, plus Williams’ history with Brazilian drivers should work in his favour. If Lynn had had a good GP2 season he would have been a shoo-in, but it looks like it’s not to be.

    2. @andrewt She would have needed to find 40 superlicence points in a hurry, so I guess not (unless the same dispensation Wehrlein and Haryanto made use of is available next year; I can’t remember whether it is off the top of my head).

      1. True. I forgot the superlicence points : /

        1. I’d say it’s not only the superlicence points. She was skilled enough to test-drive the Williams every once in a while, but Williams never ever considered letting her race for them, which is why they were in an extreme hurry to sign a different reserve driver (Sutil) when Bottas had his back problems. Throughout her racing career she has never even remotely had the pace to be considered a serious contender for an F1 cockpit. 2 points scoring finishes in 7 seasons of DTM, where even the most successful drivers usually get nowhere near an F1 car, is already what can be considered the apex of her racing career.
          As for her Williams employment, she probably would’ve never had a chance if it weren’t for her husband, Toto Wolff. She’s no Carmen Jordà, as she’s proven she can drive a racing car without sticking out as someone who doesn’t belong in the grid. But that’s pretty much all there is to say.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to live to see the day when F1 is finally enriched by really competitive ladies. And I really believe that this isn’t a utopian vision. But I feel that Susie’s time at Williams hasn’t helped female racers at all. It might even have reinforced the tendency to confine women to a peripheral role in F1, where they’re only hired because for marketing reasons, thus blocking the path for more competitive rivals such as Simona de Silvestro.

      2. @keithcollantine the regulations for obtaining a super licence have changed. Collecting 40 points isn’t a requirement anymore, as the former existing option of doing 300km at “consistent racing speeds in a representative F1 car” has been added to the regs again some time in the past few months. It’s rule 5.1.6 in Appendix L.

        Based on that, Wolff could easily get one. But I don’t think she has ever been a realistic option for a race seat to Williams.

        1. @mattds As I say I’m aware of that dispensation, what I’m saying is I’m not sure if it’s staying for 2017.

          1. @keithcollantine it is not really the “same” dispensation that Haryanto and Wehrlein made use of, as that dispensation (specifically referring to 5.1.6) did not exist at the start of this season. It was removed when the FIA instated the new 40-points system and it has only been readded somewhere after the start of this season.
            As far as I know Haryanto and Wehrlein obtained their super licence when the previous super licence system was still in effect.

            But now it has been readded and I don’t see why the FIA would remove it again ahead of 2017 – that would mean it would only have been in there for half a year or something.

  11. It will be a Stroll, the deal is done. The money on offer is just too much for Williams to turn down.

    With the results of this weekend’s Euro F3 results, he can’t be beaten to third in the championship, which will be enough to qualify for his super licence once he turns 18 next month.

    He’s got some talent, though it’s hard to judge this season given the clear ride he was given by his teammates at Prema (which is owned by his father).

  12. I’d give it to Wehrlein, he’s certainly done enough to earn a drive with a bigger team, and if Mercedes and Williams could do a deal with discounted engines for Williams on the understanding that Mercedes get the option to hire him if/when they want him.
    That would also open up a seat at Manor, who would benefit from getting a few £million from one of the new guys.

  13. None of the above promises to be really special, so I would say go for the backing. Stroll or Nasr.

  14. Pascal Wehrlein to Williams and Lance Stroll to Manor. Also I would dump Esteban Gutierrez and replace him with Antonio Giovinazzi. Ferrari need to start investing in young talents like Red Bull and Mercedes are currently doing.

    1. Thats sounds really good

      And kmag with hulk at force india

      Perez and ocon at Renault

      Rossi and stroll at manor

      And i would be happy ^^

      1. And then have the Renaults, Manors and Saubers produce competitive cars and we’ll have a legendary 2017 🙏

      2. That would be amazing, but I keep hearing Rossi say how much he likes IndyCar. I wonder if he would still be interested in an F1 seat these days.

  15. I would like to see Stroll (a little Canadian bias) yes his dad has a lot of money but Stroll can drive a car. Dominating F3. Verstappen didn’t win in F3. Even Toto Wolff said if Stroll made it to F1 it would be because of his driving

    1. Verstappen didn’t win the championship in f3

      1. I’m more impressed by Verstappen’s F3 career than Stroll’s. It was Verstappen’s first year out of karts, he was up against a stronger field with a less experienced team, won more races than anyone and lost of lot of points due to engine problems. Stroll arrived in the championship with more experience and while he has driven well this year he’s up against a smaller and weaker field and has the benefit of a top team (and Williams custom-building special parts for him). Plus in his rookie season he received a ban after an outstandingly poor piece of driving.

        Stroll brings a lot of money and I think he gets more criticism than he probably deserves. But even so having watched both championships for the past few years Verstappen impressed me more.

        1. @keithcollantine

          (and Williams custom-building special parts for him).

          I didn’t know that this was possible under F3 rules (not surprising, as I hardly know anything about the technical regulations in place anyway …).
          But the fact that Stroll and 2 of his 3 team mates are the top 3 of the current championship says a lot about the kind of advantage Prema must have even without their top driver’s privileged partnership with Williams.

          I must admit that I was rather bewildered by his development since last year, as I was definitely not impressed by his driving in 2015, be it with his pace or with his attitude. And now he seems to have little to no trouble expanding his lead weekend after weekend. It just seems somewhat fishy to me, and I suspect that he’d have a rather hard return to reality in F1, with his advantage over other teams and his team mates gone.

    2. Part of the reason he is doing so well in F3 is because his teammates have clearly been under orders not to race him. But he will get the Williams seat.

      1. @tdog, just curious though, are there any other teams within the same Formula 3 series where one driver is being favoured over the others?

        For most teams in the F3 series, it looks like usually only one driver is eligible to score points throughout the season for the team and therefore you would expect that the teams would be biased towards a single driver – is that the case with the other teams?

        1. Has been hinted at in the past with Prema and ART before them, likes of Bianchi got an easy ride. If you pay more, you get priority status

    3. Verstappen was a first year rookie in all of motorsport and driving for a midtable team. Stroll is a third year, with a year in F3 already, at by far the best team, the beneficiary of team orders and in a far weaker field (2014 was an absolutely ridiculous amount of talent, as Auer, Blomqvist, Ocon and Giovinazzi are now showing). So the comparison is completely and utterly invalid.

  16. I think the title should be ” who should Williams replace Massa with”. Replacing with Massa sounds like he will replace himself?
    He still has some drive left in him, probably just needs to step back for a while and regroup.

  17. I don’t think F1 needs another 17 or 18 year-old in a car yet. As I have said elsewhere personally I think this is a little too young.

    I would go for Wehrlein like most people have suggested. With Nasr or Ocon as other options. Williams could give one of theses three a year to see how things work out and then bring in Stroll in a year or two if they feel so inclined.

    1. I’d agree fully… Except Max is doing wonders for F1. We could have a few more like him.

  18. Anyone but Stroll.

  19. I would say giovanazzi. Would be Great to have a italian again and with vandoorne coming Next year how many nations would it be in F1?

    But werhlein is doing awesome as well in manor so its a tough choice but i would say giovanazzi with a tiny margin

  20. Paul di Resta. He delivers and has the experience. With his spell on the outside he has learned a lot and tempered down as well. Theres no need for Williams to have an inexperienced go through the inevitable mistakes learning the craft. They need the maximum number of points in races and Paul is the best option IMO.

    1. I agree with you completely.

  21. Pascal Wherlein is good, he gets my vote. Does Lance even have enough points to join?

    He impressive really, but Williams seems to be good to convert 30M lance budgrt to good use.

    1. @jureo He had 20 at the end of last year:


      If he finishes at least third in European Formula Three this year he’ll hit the required 40, and he’s leading comfortably at the moment.

      1. In that case…. He is as good as signed. Hard to argue with 30 milion reasons, and is leading a championship.

        Still I would love to see Wherlein further up front. But Williams need to look at financial imcentives. Lances racing budget would provide Williams about 20% more funds for 2018 campaign. Something they might need.

      2. Interesting to note that the driver with the most Superlicence points not mentioned (if we disregard the Dixons and LMP1 drivers) is Felix Rosenqvist (73 points), the 2014 and 2015 Macau GP winner who has a most impressive record in Euro F3 as well. Being Swedish and not having the huge backing of certain other drivers probably rules him out of F1 forever which just goes to show how crap F1 is these days. :-)

        1. He did 4 yrs in F3 if Im not mistaken. Not really a stand out talent.

          If you talk about most qualified it should be Frijns, three championships on the throt, of which the Formula Renault Eurocup and World Series (against Bianchi) as a rookie. But yeah, no money

          1. JeffreyJ, I believe that there have been claims that Frijns is a difficult character to work with – furthermore, I believe that one Dutch poster here mentioned that Frijns had been offered a sponsorship deal but turned it down.

          2. I dont know the kid so maybe he is. I do know that he turned down RedBull because he didnt want to lose control over your career. 4yrs later looking at kvyat that was a sound hudgement albeit one that didnt help him at all

  22. Wehrlein ofcourse. Tho i somehow doubt that would happen unfortunately. But i wouldnt rule out seeing him in a force india even, if perez moves to Renault maybe? But about Williams, i see stroll and nasr as the two more likely options. Nasr would be a waste of a solid midfield seat. Since Australia 2015, which was his first and only impressive race, he hasnt done anything to justify his place at sauber, let alone getting a place at williams. But his money is unfortunately keeping him in the window. So if it really is between just the two of them then im for stroll. Would rather give a young driver a chance to shine than waste a seat on someone who had 2 seasons to prove himself and failed to do so.

  23. I would like Giovinazzi to get the seat because of his great debut season in GP2 where he has a chance of winning! Doubt he would get the seat though.

  24. Wehrlein makes the most sense for me, he’s a known quantity compared to the others and is doing a solid job in the Manor. Plus I’m sure Mercedes won’t object to loaning him to another partner team that is quicker than Manor but won’t be challenging the factory team.

    Also makes me wonder if Sainz should’ve held-off signing that dead end Toro Rosso contract because if he did, I would take him over everyone on this list.

  25. I wanted it to be Button, or either FI guy (PER/HUL) or a new guy in Ocon/Wehrlein/Giovinazzi would be Great too.

    However, the guys who are least deserving Stroll and Nasr see to be in the lead because of money reasons. From them Nasr would be the most unspectacular but he might be helpfull container Massa’s backers. Also, Brazil is a huge market for western brands to be represented in. He might get the nod from Williams shareholders/directors because it helps attracting other deals

    So yeah, I predictable they’ll take the worst option: Felipe Nasr

  26. I’d like it to be Kvyat. I think he deserves another shot but outside of the Red Bull camp.

  27. The Blade Runner (@)
    11th September 2016, 20:29

    Me! 🏎💨🏁

  28. I think I know someone. Lots of cash behind and a race winner.
    Yes, I back!

    1. That joke never gets old!

    2. “Credit check on aisle 2”

  29. Okay, I get it. Wehrlein’s a talent and has one year experience under his belt. But those who voted for Wehrlein completely ignore Williams’ need for a budget, or, how modern F1 works, for that matter.

    For a team like Williams, the budget a driver brings is just as big a factor as experience and talent. Hence I can’t look passed Stroll or Nasr in the second Williams seat for next year. For the team, those drivers would be the best choice, hence, I hope they pick them. What else could I vote?

    1. @jaapgrolleman, I think that most people are assuming that Wehrlein might be in with a chance given that Mercedes might be prepared to offer Williams a discount on the price of their engine supply – it was the route that Ferrari went down when dealing with Marussia.

      In effect, knocking a few million off their engine supply deal would be the same as if he had the same level of sponsorship, whilst Mercedes might also be prepared to offer a higher level of technical support to the team – thereby improving their competitiveness – as a way of also sweetening the deal.

  30. I think Nasr deserves a chance. He’s learned some things with his two years at Sauber and he must have some good relationships with the Williams crew given his time at the time. I think he’s just the driver they need at this current time.

  31. I am naturally conditioned to favour young talent, but Stroll is so well supported, he doesn’t need the leg up. With his Dad’s billions and the impressive vane of speed and maturity Lance has struck this year, he is F1 destined in any case. Perhaps better then to bed himself into high-powered formula racing in GP2 next year and let either Wehrlein or Ocon take the seat. Ocon has Vasseur’s support at Renault so Pascal would be a good fit for Williams.

  32. Stroll might also be best if Claire is not convinced that she wants to continue owning the team. Daddy Stroll has the funds to take it over, invest and return it to the top of the heap – perhaps even promising to retain the Williams name (at least until 2020 when the “historical” payments might dry up).

  33. Guybrush Threepwood
    12th September 2016, 0:59

    Williams need money – especially after slipping in the championship table. My bet is that whoever has the money gets the honey.

  34. As much as I would like to see a Canadian driver in F1 again, I hope it is not Stroll at Williams. He just hasn’t earned it, and represents what is wrong with the sport, in my opinion. Williams could sure use the money, but their image would be tarnished by taking Stroll at this time. Maybe someday, but not next year.

    1. @ferrox-glideh, is it any worse than Williams hiring Bruno Senna purely for his sponsorship (the fact that they effectively used his practise time to train Bottas indicates that they had no intention of keeping him for the long term)?

  35. Williams will be needing money, so Stroll on.

  36. Alex Rossi is still available. Andretti-Herta is yet to confirm because they need to find a primary sponsor. Not so sure if the decision would be made at Sonoma for the Indy Car season finale or at COTA where he will host a party. Even if is a backmarker, it would be a good start for Rossi. But on the other hand, I say go for it and have Williams take a chance.

  37. I like many of those drivers and there are good reasons to hire almost any of them. If Daniil Kvyat could revive his career at Williams, it would be such a fairytale story. If Stroll joins Wehrlein, Ocon, Vandoorne and Verstappen, we will have a very inspiring grid full of young and talented drivers.

    But Williams need a safe pair of hands and I feel that Paul di Resta is the guy, who could score them more points than any other available driver. Di Resta was forced to leave F1 at the end of 2013 even though he was still young and strong (he was tenth in the 2013 F1F driver rankings). I believe that he has unfinished business in F1.

  38. I’d love to see Alex Rossi get the seat. He did say he had multiple F1 offers on the table for next year, but didn’t specify who the other team was besides Manor.

  39. If I were at the helm at Williams, I’d make a strong play for Wehrlein. You’d be getting a young, hungry, competent driver and you could hit Mercedes up for a discount deal on your engines.

  40. Arnoud van Houwelingen
    12th September 2016, 14:38

    Robin Frijns

  41. I wonder why Grosjean is not showing any interest about the vacancy at Williams. After all, he’s stuck with Haas for next year, and his chances of moving up to Ferrari are getting thinner as we speak, seeing their interest about RIC, Perez and Verstappen. And Haas is obviously not a real force to reckon with, scoring 80% of their points in the first four races, mainly at the expense of the other teams’ mistakes and reliability problems. Staying with them any further could hurt Grosjean’s career worse than staying with Renault would have had.

    Same goes for Sainz. The Red Bull family is clearly not as crazy about him as they are about RIC and Verstappen, and God forbid he stays around Toro Rosso long enough until Marko sweeps him aside in favour of some newer, fresher kid as he usually does in every three years.

    Williams would be a straightforward option for both of them, and both of them would be a reasonable option for Williams.

  42. I only consider the first three to be “likely” candidates. While I’d love to see Giovinazzi, Wehrlein, Ocon or even Dillmann in a top F1 team, I think Lynn is the better option between himself, Stroll and Nasr. Lynn has been inconsitent this season in GP2 but his pace has always been there and he has cut out some mistakes. He is definitely at least on par with Nasr as far as their GP2 performances are compared, and not being impressed with Nasr I’d like to see Lynn given a go to see how he performs. I think he can be a strong midfielder. Stroll is definitely too raw at the moment.

  43. Should:
    From all possible drivers: Frijns
    From the viable drivers: Wehrlein

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