Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas, Albert Park, 2016

Williams would release Bottas to Mercedes if Massa returns

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams is open to letting Valtteri Bottas join Mercedes if they can entice Felipe Massa back from retirement to replace him.

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Comment of the day

Don’s take on what yesterday’s announcement from Mercedes means:

It’s Bottas then.

All those contractual and financial complications will be ironed out in these three weeks. Bottas to Mercedes add Wehrlein to Williams.
Don Smik (@David-beau)

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On this day in F1

Felipe Massa had his first test for Ferrari following his Hungaroring crash on this day in 2009.

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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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  • 116 comments on “Williams would release Bottas to Mercedes if Massa returns”

    1. Just read that Hamilton quite from 2010. He says no one has beat or got close to a world champion in their first season. Hello Jacques Villeneuve he gave Hill a run for his money and beat Schumacher. Pole in his first race.

      1. Hello Jacques Villeneuve he gave Hill a run for his money

        Ok so Hamilton is incorrect about a rookie coming in and being at the front, but he’s right about no others coming in and beating a world championship teammate.

        Hamilton also only lost the championship by 1 point, Villeneuve was 19 points behind Hill so Hamiltons rookie season still stands alone as the most impressive.

        1. Giuseppe Farina won championship in his debut F1 season.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            16th December 2016, 2:08

            An amazing record in the inaugural season of F1

            1. In the best team

            2. Ron and FA had personal issues and Lewis was Ron’s golden boy!!!

          2. Well, it was the debut F1 season, so by definition the winner had to be a “rookie”. In the first race of that season, a “rookie” also set pole, a “rookie” set the fastest lap and a “rookie” even won the race!

            1. So they will let Bot go if the price is right..not that it is about money of course,,Williams are rolling in money..cough

        2. It’s rather less impressive when weighed against the size of the gigantic silver spoon in his mouth. Hamilton was clearly being favored by the team and especially by Ron Dennis, something Alonso himself pointed out. Even when the rookie ignored team orders and adversely affected his world championship-winning teammate, no action was taken against him. (But the team were more than happy to show their displeasure at Alonso for retaliating after the team let Lewis off scot-free.)

          And it’s even less impressive when one considers that Hamilton:

          * Was already signed by the then-championship winning F1 team at the age of 13 and then constantly groomed by the team for a decade.

          * Had what was arguably the best car on the grid from his very first race.

          * Had a teammate who was brand-new to the team, and so had not had any time to gel with the team, whereas Hamilton had already been working with them for a decade.

          * Ever since then, has always had one of the best (and usually the very best, in recent years by a HUGE margin) cars on the grid. He’s never raced F1 in a car that wasn’t capable of winning at least two races per season. In total, the cars Hamilton has driven have together won 41% of *all* the races he’s entered, whether by his or his teammates’ hand.

          * Only “beat” Alonso by dint of his slightly greater number of second-placed finishes, having tied both on points and number of wins.

          * Was racing against a teammate who was thoroughly unhappy with his team’s favoritism towards his teammate. If you look back before Canada ’07, Alonso was leading Hamilton after almost every race. Only post-Canada, once the team’s favoritism became completely obvious, did Alonso lose his mojo.

          Hamilton fans are a funny bunch. They like to pretend he’s the second coming, and are happy to overlook the huge good fortune he’s had in his career, putting it all down to his talent (which he does, assuredly, have.) But at the same time, when he’s beaten the record is changed, and it’s somehow not a legitimate win for his rival because Hamilton had bad luck. Well guess what? You can’t claim greatness when you’re lucky without also accepting failure when you’re unlucky.

          Lewis had some bad luck this year, but he was also the beneficiary of team orders in his favor, yet refused to obey team orders in his teammate’s favor more than once, and he threw away more than a few wins by dint of his own poor racecraft because (as he always has done) when things aren’t going his way, he has a tendency to spit the dummy and have a tantrum rather than just getting on with it.

          But that’s not surprising when one looks back at just how spoiled he has been throughout his career. It must be hard to maintain any sense of reality when you’re constantly told you’re the golden child.

          Frankly, I think if we saw Hamilton versus Alonso or Vettel in the same car, we’d likely see Hamilton lose again, just as he lost fair and square to Rosberg this year. He’s more focused on living his life to the full outside of the track than he is on winning. That, he just takes for granted as his birthright — he clearly feels he shouldn’t have to actually work for it.

          1. @Knox All nonsense Alonso got what he deserved for black mailing the team. Alonso had No1 status and ask yourself why does a 2WDC need No1 status if he is that good ?, this is the reason why i believe Alonso is overrated by people like you and many pundits. Then you go by how Hamilton benefitted from team orders but does not Alonso often needs No1 status ?. Your whole comment can be thrown in the bin mate, pure rubbish.

            1. Alonso is not overrated – he is rated the best driver in f1 by nearly the whole f1 community so often – even though he hasn’t won a championship since 2006, because he is a great driver., your post is that actual pure rubbish., you do not understand intra-team f1 poletics at all.

            2. @patienceandtime for the record: I agree with Alonso being good for nothing that has been and is no more; but HAM is rapidly falling in the same category with all the whining and manipulating and accusing the team of doing him wrong. HAM is hurting himself with his way of being and acting; And I totally dislike both drivers. Give me Seb anytime…. Merry Christmas to you all

          2. Wow lot of hate there… 3 time world champion. 2nd highest in history in race wins…plenty of drivers have had a….silver spoon. He is one of the greatest…the stats over a long career dont lie. What he does off the track is bugger all to do with anyone but him.

            1. Not that I agree with everything said but stats do lie that’s why there is a driver ranking on this very site..

            2. @Kelly

              How does the stat of 3 WDC, 53 wins & 61 poles lie?

              And is the ranking system not based on opinions, which in itself carries personal bias from those who vote in said ranking system?

            3. those who vote

              The F1 Fanatic Driver Rankings are written by me, they are not the outcome of a poll. The Dinner of the Year poll will be up later today.

            4. The Dinner of the Year poll will be up later today.

              Haha. Hungry, Keith?

          3. “Hamilton fans are a funny bunch.”

            As someone who tries to plough a furrow of just being a fan of the sport, not the drivers (I have ‘soft spots’ for some, but mostly succeed in my goal), it’s not just Hamilton’s fans who seem weird. Those who dislike him are usually just as obsessive, over-the-top and preachy about their own viewpoint. It’s almost like politics.

            Vettel, Alonso and (to a growing extent) the Red Bull duo get a bit of the same sort of attention – fans on each pole, writing increasingly fervent good/bad stuff about them – but Hamilton’s love/hate brigades are in a different league in terms of numbers and, usually, passion.

            1. @neilosjames A succinct whisper of reason, in a hurricane of ‘my Dad’s better than your Dad’ tit for tat nonsense. It really is getting exceedingly silly.

            2. @neilosjames HAM has been getting great cars after 2013 so I agree about the number part.

              The passion part not so much, tbh.

            3. Says a lot about the way F1 is covered, all across the media. All the attention goes on the hype surrounding a couple of drivers. Whether it’s online “reporting”, TV or the papers, a lot of fans are going to believe everything they read, and swallow the ready-made opinions offered to them.

            4. @neilosjames, I do agree that there has been something of a pronounced polarisation amongst the fan base when it comes to certain drivers – as you say, Hamilton is one of the more extreme examples and, just as there are those who love to praise him, there are those who are just as determined to pour bile upon him, whilst those inbetween are gradually squeezed out by the two extremes.

              As you say, Vettel and Alonso are figures who also seem to have a similarly divisive impact on the fans – perhaps less so since they’ve been less successful recently, but I imagine that would change if they began to win races on a more regular basis again.

              Meanwhile, all the signs are that Verstappen is going to be a similarly divisive figure – after all, Red Bull, itself a team which is fairly polarising (which does in turn impact on the popularity of their drivers) will continue to aggressive push him in their advertising, ensuring a fairly persistent and dominating media presence.

              @bullfrog, I would say that, whilst the media plays its part, they in turn are playing to what they believe their audience wants. The hype tends to be focused on a few drivers, but at the same time, how many fans will actively seek out information on drivers and teams towards the back of the grid?

              There is also a secondary element to that, which is the fact that most individuals have a tendency to seek the views of those who are similar to their own and to neglect or quickly dismiss views which are contrary to their own.

              The effect is that, over time, people seek to reinforce their established beliefs and choose only to seek those opinions which agree with their own – they “swallow the ready-made opinions”, as you put it, because that is what they want to hear and what they want to believe in.

          4. @knoxploration

            So you’re saying that McLaren favoured a rookie over a double WDC who they were paying a salary 4 times greater? Ok

            But out of curiosity, was Alonso not heavily favoured by Flávio when he was at Renault? The same team boss who was also his manager?

            1. @kgn11

              So you’re saying that McLaren favoured a rookie over a double WDC who they were paying a salary 4 times greater? Ok

              funny this… so Ham fans are saying that Mercedes favoured Rosberg over a triple WDC who they are paying double the salary?

            2. @tom

              Well I’m not every “HAM fan”.

          5. Wow. Getting a lot of your chest there Knox.

            You might want to look at why Hamilton ended up with that contract at McLaren. It wasn’t by accident or by being the son of another driver. He got backing after showing talent then had to prove it through the lower formulae.

            This silver spoon claim just isn’t true I’m afraid. He had to work hard and earn it.

            1. This silver spoon claim just isn’t true I’m afraid. He had to work hard and earn it.

              This is very true. No doubt Hamilton was one of the best prepared rookies in recent times but he had to show he deserved it. And he did.

          6. I’m loving this

            *grabs popcorn*

          7. I got as far as silver spoon and figure the rest is just as silly. Using the phrase silver spoon for the only working class F1 driver is a joke right?

            1. Oh, I say! The man drives cars for a living! Very working class, what!

        3. Let’s be honest though – how many rookies have had the chance to beat a world champion teammate?

          1. Stoffel does for 2017, I can’t see it happening but I hope it’s a fun year for rivalries!!!

            1. Well we’ll certainly know how good he is after next season because having to race Alonso in your debut season is as tough as it gets! There is no racing at Manor against a pay driver to get up to speed or anything like that – straight in vs Alonso. Oof.

      2. Damon Hill wasn’t a champion prior to ’96. So what he said still stands.

    2. WeatherManNX01
      16th December 2016, 0:15

      I don’t know about Massa – he seemed content with his decision to retire, but I could see Button bookending his career with Williams. While he also seemed content to call Abu Dhabi his last race, I just feel like he’s more likely than Massa to jump into a car once more.

      1. I don’t feel like dragging any driver out of retirement is a good idea. Where’s their motivation going to come from? If Williams need an experienced driver there are plenty of ex-F1 drivers around in other series waiting for a call.

        1. I agree, some LMP1 front-runners for instance would be better options than a retiring F1 driver.

        2. I think that part of why Massa was retiring was a bit like when Schumi retired the first time @george – to make place for the new signing. Yes, for Schumi his motivation was more about helping Massa out by not making the team choose between their 5 time champion and Massa, but he did feel kind of forced.
          With Massa I got the feeling early this year that he also bowed out more because Stroll was coming in and not wanting to go further down the grid rather than not wanting to race anymore. On the other hand, his form did seem to drop quite a bit during the year.

          In general I do agree with you though, that pulling back in a driver who wanted to quit the sport, does not seem like the best of ideas to me. I am sure Button really felt like having enough of it.

          1. I think that Schumi felt a bit guilty for all those years using Barrichello as the second driver. Massa retired just because he would be fired anyway, the only thing that may happen to keep his place was Bottas moving ahead, it’s what happens now.

            I personally would like to see Massa one more season, I think he suffered more because of the rule changes than for the age, he had always struggled with all that tire degradation changes.

        3. @george Problem with those is even though they have F1 experience, they don’t have experience with the current F1, especially with these PUs.

          And who would really be a good option for Williams? Buemi, Vergne, Di Grassi? If they want someone to give feedback how good would those guys be? Certainly not as good as Massa, that already knows the team, and has their 2016 car as benchmark.

          Although I agree that they shouldn’t lure anyone from retirement. I do have the feeling after these comments, that they are taking 2017 as a transition year, and with that in mind in the eventuality of loosing Bottas, the best thing to do would be to sign someone that was a test driver in the past few seasons , and do not worry as much with the actual pace (If they are thinking of Massa, surely pace isn’t a priority, as he was soundly beaten by Bottas)

          PS: what worries me the most, is that the situation is bringing Maldonado into contention, please no

      2. Massa was already saying he wanted to keep racing and it also looked like it wasn’t his decision to retire already. He seemed to have accepted his career was over, but not because he already was done with F1.

      3. Let’s please forget the whining over the hill Button. No more I beg you!!!! He’s old, lost it, and is a total complainer. Spare us.

        1. So, no different to Felipe then ?

      4. I am a Button fan, but for Williams Massa is a much better option because he knows the team and the car. Next year is a transition, so you need all the info you can get. Getting it from a trusted team member is a much better opportunity.

      5. Massa retired because he didn’t have another decent seat to move into – he knew Bottas was staying and knew Stoll was joining so rather than joining a weaker team, he retired but said he wanted to stay in motorsport.

        He’s not the most exciting driver but Williams need someone experienced to develop the car in the first season after a big rule change and someone who has been with the team for a years makes sense.

    3. Question out of Mercedes-Bottas topic

      2017 F1 cars will be a lot quicker and physically harder to drive,
      So are the drivers going to be fit enough to be able to do about 130- 150 laps in those 2017 cars during one testing day like they did last winter tests, or teams going to use both drivers in one day, or maybe a third test driver

      1. good question @albzejn

        We know Perez has said that testing will be difficult, at least until they are not used to it.

        So yes, probably they will have to split the tests. If they can bring a 3rd driver even better, opportunity for those guys to show how good they can potentially be

    4. So if I get this right, Rosberg resigns:
      – If Bottas moves to Mercedes, Massa comes out of retirement.
      – If Alonso goes, Button is back.
      – If Vettel switches, Rubens? :D

      1. @afonic Actually I think Luca Badoer is next in line there.

      2. @afonic Love it – perhaps they might make an audacious move for Verstappen and we can have Ricciardo vs Webber in the Red Bull!

    5. McLaren in my opinion need to be careful to avoid doing what Porsche have done, in the form of watering down the brand by producing too many cars, especially if they have a lot of cheaper variants of the same thing. In that sense I think that’s where FIAT’s strategy should work if they are successful in bringing Alfa back to popularity as a cheaper alternative to Ferrari.

      That picture of the 2007 McLarens really reminds me of how stunning those 2007 / 2008 F1 cars were. Beautifully proportioned (including a small front wing), fast, elegant liveries, especially on the McLaren and Ferrari. To be honest I question why F1 ever wanted to move away from that.

      Anyway, I think a Massa return would be a shame and a mistake, for two reasons. Firstly, Massa had a stunning end to his career and he himself knows full well, as will Williams, that coming back will make him appear well past it and would ruin what was a great ending. Some say he retired too late, others say it was the right moment, but it’s fair to say most think that he doesn’t have much more left to give than what he’s already done. The other reason is simply that two champions and one runner-up retired, so isn’t it right to give the space to new or hardly used talent?

      1. I agree with you but I don’t think that Wherlein + Stroll can be a good choice either, probably worse.

      2. @strontium

        Alfa back to popularity as a cheaper alternative to Ferrari.

        Maserati would be…….

      3. @strontium, Porsche’s approach has been extremely successful though – for several years in a row, Porsche have had the highest profit margins of any automotive manufacturer and have managed to continue sitting in that sweet spot between performance, exclusivity and price. They’ve had no problems with “watering down the brand” – on the contrary, the company probably has never been in a stronger position than it is now.

        As an aside, since you pick up on the McLaren MP4/22, the words “beautifully proportioned” were not words that I saw being used to describe the field back in 2007 and 2008. If anything, it was rather the opposite – there were quite a few fans who complained that the cars were ugly and had become festooned with too many aerodynamic devices, making them overly sensitive in the wake of another car and thereby inhibiting passing (leading to complaints from the fans about races becoming too processional and the sport being overly dominated by spending on aerodynamics).

        Just as some examples, I don’t recall people saying that the BMW Sauber F1.08 or Honda RA108 were beautiful cars – if anything, I heard quite a few people call the F1.08 downright hideous, saying that it was especially ugly and messy due to the various aero flick ups that appeared on the car (especially the horns on the nose, which most of the field ended up copying).

    6. I don’t think Button would be interested in coming back for a single season in the midfield. I can see McLaren luring him back for 2018 if they need him and have a good package, but I think 3 years of no winning prospects were enough for Button, unless wins are on the table I don’t see why he’d want to come back.

    7. Mercedes should just get Kubica back… Even with one hand he would be faster than most of the current “drivers”…

      1. @toxic, no, Kubica is never coming back to F1 – he has said that just getting into and out of the cockpit is difficult enough for him now that his arm has such limited motion and that he will never have the physical fitness to ever compete in F1 again (a few years ago, he tried to pass the medical exam to see if he could race in F1 again – and failed it).

        Recently, he took part in a test for Kolles’s LMP1 team in Bahrain and stated that he can’t drive a high downforce single seater car – even driving the CLM/01, a car which is significantly slower and with lower loads coming through the wheel than an F1 car, was still quite hard and physically painful for him, and he admitted that he might struggle to drive that car for a reasonable length of time.

      2. I was watching a re-run of the Bahrain 2008, where Kubica had Pole (a Pole on Pole…) and was reminded how much we have missed his talent, were he still able to drive in F1 he would be hitting his prime now and a great option for a Mercedes or Ferrari drive.

        1. It’s such a shame because he was that good. I suppose it’s lucky really that it wasn’t any worse because a few inches either way and it could have had a very different outcome…. It must be horrible though to know that you have the skill and the opportunity to be a top F1 driver but your body won’t let you do it.

    8. You know who should be a reserve driver in one of the teams? Simona De Silvestro.
      The only woman who has made a name out there because of talent and not for the money (sorry Susie) or the looks (sorry Carmen).
      It would be great to see which team is the first one who dares to hire her. She would surely attract sponshorship for being “against all those men”. And especially now that many drivers are reaching their last years in F1 (in some years we will be without Kimi, Fernando, maybe even Hulk) it would be better to be waiting in the backstage than having not a chance at all.

      1. She is taken.Will drive for Nissan Australia in the V8 Supercar series for the next two years with substantial backing from one of our largest retailers.She has started the last two bathurst races.

      2. @omarr-pepper her FE season failed to impress though

        1. @johnmilk well, but even if her driving is not the best, it’s not as if ww haven’t just had Gutiérrez and Haryanto driving an F1. She wouldn’t win, but ir would be probably snatching a couple of points, also depending on which car is given. Put her straight on that vacant Mercedes and she can easily become a race winner!!!

          1. better yet @omarr-pepper lets stop having those sort of guys in F1 altogether

    9. Williams decision to try and get Massa out of retirement doesn’t speak well for Wehrlein. Overlooked for the Force India seat, supposedly the Mercedes seat and now possibly the Williams seat.

      1. It would be Massa and Wehrlein.

        1. @pastaman Forgotten about Lance Stroll?

          1. Lance Stroll to Mercedes :)

      2. I think Williams need an experienced driver for this new regulations era.. which is why Wehrlein doesn’t quite fit the bill. But I would have to agree that if Wehrlein was impressive enough in his rookie season then Williams would have poached him straight away.

      3. I am with @Todfod there. I don’t think it really says anything about Wehrlein apart from that he is not experienced enough to fit what Williams want from their driver with a rookie driver coming in.

    10. Put Brundle in for 1 or 2 races, so he can finally get the win he wished he had!

    11. Seems improbable that Massa would un-retire that quickly, but not entirely out of the realm of possibilities. I can see why Williams, or any other team, would wish to have the continuity in at least one of their drivers going from one season to the next. Especially when the next season has such massive regulation changes. So, maybe it will be Massa. Mercedes certainly seem to want Bottas and are willing to make a deal that Williams cannot refuse.

      1. The thing is: When a Driver at his 31 like Rosberg retires, all of you begging for a sabbatical year to raise the kids and a comeback on the same top team. So what’s the point in criticize Massa to try continue at his 35, being one of the reliable car developers on the grid (remember the first year of Willians).

        Some say that the new regulations make Rosberg quit, that’s the same reason to Massa’s hope, including to win some races.

        Next season with wider tyres and other things will be a coin flip between teams, thanks to Bernie.

    12. Massa returning, now THAT would be disappointing. The man had his time in F1, is content with moving on, had a great goodbye. Also he is nowhere near good enough anymore, motivation will be fading and performance will go down further. If Williams is that dependable on experience, they should grow some .. and tell Mercedes NO and keep Bottas.

      1. @me4me
        Well that is what you think. Williams themselves want Massa. They obviously still appreciate Massa’s skill and I still think he would be better than Stroll although certainly not by as bigger margin as Bottas. He may have faded towards the end of this season but that was mainly after he announced his retirement. He did still say he would want to be racing next year so he won’t have completely lost interest. If he gets given another chance with a fresh start, he could well put in the performance that he did at the start of the season which in a way was better than anyone else on the grid. He was the only driver that scored in all of the 1st 6 races. As Bottas is quite likely to be going to Mercedes, Massa in a way will quite easily be the easiest and best option for Williams as he’s been with them for 3 years and also will be the most experienced driver on the grid. You can tell that from what Williams have said that they do much appreciate what Massa had brought to the team.

        1. @thegianthogweed, Let’s look at a recent quote from Pat Symonds (December 14th, Motorsport.com):

          “You can replace one with another, but you need to have a reference point. This will be especially true in a season in which they change the rules – and we will have Lance Stroll as a rookie with no experience in F1.

          It implies that they want and need a driver known to them, a reference point. That can be either Bottas or Massa. This does not imply that Massa is the best performing driver they can get for 2017. That is my point, Massa would be drawn in out of necessity, which I think is rather disapointing for the sport. I would prefer them to be bold and keep Bottas, or be brave and pick Wehrlein. Massa is the safe option, but you know he’ll be mediocre. F1fanatic rated him 18th this season, Autosport 20th. Williams do not need to put themselves in a position where they have one mediocre and one rookie driver.

          1. The thing is, they have also said that they will release Bottas if Massa will return. Bottas is obviously a better choice for Williams, but there isn’t really any other easy choise for Mercedes and They clearly want Bottas and I’m sure Bottas would love to go too. Williams Really did appriciate Massa so if Bottas goes, I do think he will pretty much the best option.
            Now you have explained, I do get your point that it would be better for Williams if Bottas stayed. But then Bottas would loose what will probably be his best chance in F1 to fight for the championship. It will be a little disappointing to him and he’ll have to hope that Williams treat him very nicely if they don’t allow him to leave to go to what will probably be the best team.
            But from things I’ve read all over the place, it certainly looks likely that Bottas will be going and probably will be the case that Massa will continue at Williams.

    13. Massa would be no replacement for Bottas… nor would Button, I feel. Of course they both have the experience but on the track, where the points are scored, they’re not going to do the same job as Bottas would in terms of points.

      And how many points could they afford to lose, relative to what Bottas would achieve, before they actually make a loss from whatever payment Mercedes are going to give them? McLaren, Renault, Toro Rosso are all going to improve (I believe) and Force India are still going to be around, so Williams are going to need every point they can get.

    14. So Mercedes deal to get bottas now can be revised to a second offer that includes a sweetener for Massa.

    15. This sounds like it’s practically a done deal. Massa out of retirement; Bottas to Mercedes; cheap or free Mercedes engines for Williams; and possibly the cancellation of Lowe’s 6 months enforced gardening leave so that he can assume his new role at Williams immediately.

      Exciting!!

      1. Duncan Idaho (@)
        17th December 2016, 23:31

        Then Stroll gives up after backmarking most of the year and Rosberg’s gap-year ends.

    16. Hamilton: “I blew Alonso away”

      No Lewis, you didn’t. Not on points and not on wins. You equalled him, which is a terrific feat in your debut season but it was also probably the Alonso’s worst season to date.

      1. Actually, it was an impressive season. Fighting the other and your own side of the garage and still not being beaten by the guy who had all the support? Not many drivers would’ve managed this.

        1. Had all the ‘support’? lol, i love this myth. People keep spouting it as if there’s actually proof or something.

          So much support that what should have been a Monaco win for Hamilton in 07, was taken from him and given to Alonso.

        2. Hamilton beat Alonso by finishing 2nd in the standings. Alonso wad 3rd. Alonso hasn’t won in over 3 years.

          1. Hamilton would have won if he had driven the 2014 Ferrari and the Mclaren in 2015 and 2016 but Alonso couldn’t. It’s just Alonso’s inability to win in last 3 years.

    17. If I were Bottas moving to Mercedes (let’s assume for the moment that it’s a done deal), I would be wanting:

      1) a multi-year contract
      2) a ridiculously high pay-out if the team decides to dump me after one year
      3) a specified time limit to when in the year the cancellation of the contract can take place, allowing enough time to search for another seat.

      Vettel and Alonso are out of contract at the end of 2017…

    18. Please don’t do it Felipe. I think it’s clear he’s still a dependable driver, but it’s just as clear he is past his best. Added to that he had an amazing farewell from the sport: the fantastic goodbye in Brazil, topped by a great race in Abu Dhabi, holding off a charging Alonso (rather fitting). Saying goodbye to a distinguished driver with such closure is something he deserves (as oppose to Jean Alesi’s unfortunate exit at Suxuka for example). You’ve left the sport with head held high Felipe, you don’t have to dance to their puppet strings anymore!

      Also, I think it’s great having Mercedes in such a quandary for 2017. Adding Werhlein to their lineup could work wonders, or it could make the title race more open.

    19. I hope Felipe doesn’t come back. Part of me feels he mentally retired halfway through the season and THAT moment in Brazil is a moment no one will forget. That and I think he’s past his best. But Williams are in a tricky spot. Wehrlein and Stroll is a no go.

    20. I fear that Wherlein has been relegated to a “possible” Manor seat at best which is a pity.

      I really had hoped that Mercedes would show the same sort of balls that RBR did when Couththard and Webber retired and put a relative rookie in.

      Hamilton is a great driver and won’t be all that fussed by a Bottas. However if a rookie that is a quick as he was when he jumped into the Mclaren for the first time ends up challenging him we’ll have some great fireworks.

      Same for Williams – they have plent of experience on the pit wall etc so why not run with 2 young drivers……..

      Maybe they’re all worried tha young drivers won’t be satisfied with mediocre.

    21. Hamilton seemed a little nervous, maybe even rattled, in that interview. Trying to enforce himself as Mercedes’ number one driver and that the ‘second car’ shouldn’t have anyone that would ruffle his pristine feathers.

      He’ll crumble if Alonso or Vettel get in there in 2018.

      Bottas will be a good ‘second car’ driver for him.

      1. Hardly, he was choosing his words carefully.

      2. Of all the drivers Vettel and Alonso are the primadonna’s evidenced by seasons when they have been challenged and beaten by the driver in the other car.

        Lewis has faced better drivers in most seasons (apart from 09 with Kovalainen) compared to Vettel and Alonso, who are both more likely to throw their toys out of the pram when challenged.

      3. Zim, throughout this, everybody seems to have assumed that Alonso and Vettel would have no qualms about being paired with Hamilton.

        There were reports from within Ferrari that Alonso was rather aggrieved at Kimi being picked as his team mate, having seen it as an act of deliberate provocation by the team, and that is despite the fact that Alonso usually had the measure of Kimi.

        Equally, whilst at Ferrari, there have been allegations in the press that, when Ferrari looked at Kimi’s contract in 2015 and 2016, Vettel lobbied against certain drivers (such as Ricciardo) being approached as a replacement to Kimi.

        The fact that both of those drivers have, reportedly, shown discomfort at having a strong second driver alongside them would suggest that they might be equally uncomfortable at being paired with Hamilton.

    22. Williams need a driver 25yo or older as part of their Martini deal….they MUST have an older driver, and recent experience driving or reserve F1 so they can support Stroll/lead the team etc.
      Button has no motivation, he is signed to Mclaren and not interested.
      Massa i think would be a mistake, not anywhere near top of his 2008 game but may end up in the seat. Is Di Resta any worse though and possible even cheaper?

    23. Massa is supposed to be retired and for good reason, he wasn’t performing very well and hence Williams decided that they didn’t want him to drive anymore. If they let Bottas go to Mercedes and bring Massa back in, he will just be there for one year before going back into retirement. This is not ideal when you have an 18 year old rookie driver in the second car who has very little experience, they really could do with a solid constant in the first car. If they release Bottas, they would be better to sign the guy who last won a race for them, Pastor Maldonado, or their reserve driver of this year, Paul di Resta, because for the future these two could potentially be sticking around for up to 3 or 4 years and be that solid constant.

      1. They need a link between the old car and the new one, and that link could be only Bottas or Massa. I personally would like to see Massa one more season, I think he suffered more because of the rule changes than for the age, he had always struggled with all that tire degradation changes. One more season wouldn’t hurt anyone.

    24. Can someone explain how the CFD computational limitations are enforced in practice? A high-end consumer-grade graphics card has around 10 TFLOPS. Put two of those in a PC in the basement of a friend, and you can essentially double your CFD computing power. I can see how this worked 10 years ago when 10 TFLOPS would have meant very expensive hardware, but these days, it seems an odd restriction. Especially because the computing can’t really be a real cost factor anymore.

    25. All due love and respect for Felipe, I think Williams would be absolutely bonkers to in effect trade Bottas for Massa right now. If they really are even remotely considering the idea it must be because Mercedes are offering something in return, right? Discounted engines?

    26. “If we did allow Valtteri to leave, we would only do this if an experienced, credible alternative was available”
      JEEEEEN-SON! JEEEEEN-SON! JEEEEEN-SON! JEEEEEN-SON! JEEEEEN-SON!

    27. This whole saga really does illustrate the importance of having a quality reserve driver available. Mercedes do not feel Wehrlein is ready and Williams – assuming Bottas leaves – are seemingly looking towards a newly retired Felipe Massa who is clearly well past his best.

      Obviously the timing of Rosberg’s retirement left Mercedes in an extremely difficult siutation, but why have Wehrlein as your reserve driver if you’re not going to use him once a seat becomes available? Even after it became clear that the likes of Alonso and Vettel would not become available, they’re still reluctant to give him a chance. I’m guessing that Mercedes are being extremely cautious about their chances in 2017, because assuming that they continue to dominate, do they really feel Wehrlein would cost them a constructors championship? He’d have to perform especially poorly for that to happen.

    28. Bottas to Mercedes appears the obvious outcome, but I am not convinced Hamilton would beat him easily. If I were in Lewis’ shoes I would rather have someone like Vettel or Alonso, because then the expectation would be equal. To be beaten by Bottas, that would raise eyebrows. No established driver likes to get beaten by one that is on the up and up such as Bottas, or a Max Verstappen for instance.
      As for ‘blowing Alonso away’, that is utter nonsense. Lewis is a fantastic driver, one of the best ever, but sometimes he gets carried away and believes his own press. It wasn’t Fernando beached in a Chinese gravel trap, with the championship at his feet, was it? Lets be realistic.
      The Muhammed Ali approach from Hamilton is exciting, it fires people up and causes interest in our sport, but no one has blown Fernando Alonso away in a fast car unless they are dreaming or on strong medication.

      1. Lol Ham was the only one who was as good as him and he was a rookie lol. Remember Alo in Japan spun in the wet? Yh I do you could say same for him. Ham did destroy Alo at certain times. Even the China race he was he was well clear, Hamilton was moving in diff gears during the season compared to Alo. People love to say Ham was favoured go watch USA 2007 and see where the problems started. Alo started it all he was weaving behind Hamilton telling the team to swap positions.

    29. It is very obvious, Wherlein is not fast enough. That is why Occon got promoted and why they are trying to poach Bottas. Wherlein is the Carlos Seinz Jr. of Mercedes family.

      Quite awesome but not top team material.

      Also behind the scenes F1 is about working hard between the races. Nico Rosberg was awesome at that, now they need to find someone simmilarly experienced and competent. Bottas is now in that position and similarly fast…. Well atleast we hope he is as fast as Nico Rosberg.

      In any case it will be awesome to judge Hamilton against another teammate.

    30. Some people are hilarious Hamilton has had by far the toughest teammates in F1, it was not Vettel asking to join Lewis in the Merc but Ham was begging Red Bull to let him join. Same with Alo now do not see him banging Merc door down. Vet was like I have a contract. Vet rep would be over if he lost to Hamilton after this yr getting beat by Kimi in qually and badly beaten by Ric. I really do sometimes wonder weather people watch F1 for long. Rosberg was by far Hamiltons quickest teammate no one has beaten Ham in qually like Nico did yet I see oh Nico is not good enough. Vet rep is worst than Hamilton that’s for sure, I do not care he has a title more Ham would have loved Webber this yr it would been a guaranteed title. Vet ran from Ric and Alo ran from Ham and know Nico retires knowing Ham has his number all things being equal so why should Ham be worried who joins? Did not see Lewis run away after 2011 like Vet. And Vet has no loyalty way he left RBull should tell you that. A WC should not leave after being beaten

    31. Remember Ham in the Vet/RB era banging the door down to get in same car with Vet. Vet is clearly scared after his Ric season else why would he not want to join Merc, Oh I know why he has Kimi as teammate even tho he is well closer than Alo ever was vs Kimi. Vet legacy for a 4xWC is not good he did not even settle a score vs Ric who leaves after 4 back to back titles in 1 down year what loyalty is that? Even Ferrari are not that happy with him giving him a hurry up Alo made Kimi look like Massa. Vet makes Kimi look a fine driver lol. Vet came out afet a few days saying he has a contract I’m sure if you wanted the Merc drive you could Seb

    32. Ham has never had a year like Vet did where he was utterly outclassed, 2011 he won same amount of races and better in qually he also had some great days, Vet on back of 1 bad yr left the team who kept him paired with Mark Webber and number 1 treatment. Ric comes along and Vet ran we see this year Vet aint all that Kimi has looked better than ever because Vet constantly underperforms. I would say Alo is probably having a right good laugh but it probably eats him up when he looks at Vet stats. Vet does not even want the Merc drive says he is staying at Ferrari lol. A contract can be broken. Just amazes me I’m sure many thought Vet was best driver by miles going into 2013 now they can forget it his legacy is not good for a 4xWC.

    33. Why on earth would Massa go back to Williams when he could negotiate for the Mercedes seat and get a hefty payout in the process? They cannot put Werhlein in that seat… It’s Mercedes, a flagship racing outfit at its zenith.

    34. I think ultimately what Williams are really saying is. Bottas isn’t going anywhere.

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