The Williams Martini Racing team has confirmed their 2015 driver line-up this morning.
Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are both being retained by the team for another year. Massa joined the team from Ferrari for the 2014 season while Bottas worked his way up from test driver to race driver for the 2013 season. Bottas has proven his worth this season with four podiums to his name and Massa’s experience has helped the time rise in the standings to fourth overall, just ten points behind third placed Ferrari.
“I’m really enjoying myself at Williams Martini Racing,” Massa said. “I feel settled here. Williams is such an iconic name in motor racing and I have a lot of pride when racing for this team. This season we have started to show our true potential and I’m driving a car that is looking strong and has improved a lot as the season has progressed which is very encouraging for the future. It’s important that we continue to push in the second half of the season and that we start 2015 with some really good momentum that we can build on.”
Massa is a highly experienced driver who has won 11 races and taken 36 podiums in his 14 season career. After a lengthy period at Ferrari, Massa made the move to Williams for the start of the 2014 season. He celebrated his 200th Grand Prix start at the British Grand Prix and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
At the other side of the garage is Bottas who this year has really shown the potential expected of him at the start of 2013. Last year Williams had an underperforming car and endured a season to forget but this year with the machinery beneath him to challenge the front runners, Bottas has secured four podiums. He is 11 points off Fernando Alonso in the championship and has finished third twice and second twice. Williams have looked like they can challenge for victories so his first win in the sport might not be far off.
“I’ve been a member of the Williams team for five years now,” Bottas commented. “We have developed together throughout that time which is a great feeling. The team has also made some very impressive gains this season and I am confident that I’m at a team that is moving in the right direction and can continue to be competitive. Sir Frank and Claire [Williams] have put a lot of faith in me and I’m very grateful that they continue to do so. Felipe and I have a good working relationship and this early announcement will help us both input into the ongoing development of the FW36 and the FW37.”
Team Principal Sir Frank Williams is pleased with the announcement. “Felipe is a pleasure to work with and combines raw pace with a wealth of experience,” he revealed. “We have known for many years that Valtteri is a very special talent and in the FW36 we have given him a car that is allowing him to demonstrate his skills. The team is having a much improved 2014 season and the skill of our drivers and their feedback to our engineers has proved crucial in this. This announcement gives us excellent stability for 2015, but of course we are very much focusing our attention on maximising the full potential of the FW36 in the remaining seven races of this season.”
The team will announce their test and development line-up in due course.