Williams Martini Racing has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa will remain with the team for the 2016 Formula 1 season.
Bottas and Massa first became teammates in 2014 following the latter’s arrival from Ferrari in place of Pastor Maldonado, and their partnership is set to extend into a third year in 2016.
The team had been expected to make some kind of change to its line-up following speculation that Bottas would be joining Ferrari for 2016 in place of Kimi Raikkonen.
However, after Ferrari opted to retain Raikkonen two weeks ago, Williams moved swiftly to confirm that Bottas will be remaining with the team for the final year of his contract.
“I am really pleased to be staying with the team for a fourth F1 race season,” Bottas said. “We have been getting stronger as a team and I look forward to what next year will bring, as I believe we can achieve even stronger results than what we have seen so far.
“I can’t wait for 2016, however I am still fully focused on this season as we still have plenty of challenges to achieve.”
Massa currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship, three points clear of Bottas. The Brazilian was pleased to confirm that he would be staying with Williams for 2016, extending his F1 career into a 14th year.
“I am very happy to be a part of the Williams family,” Massa said. “I am in my second year here and am so pleased to be staying as we are working very well together as a team.
“They respect me a lot and the results are there, and it has been so nice to be part of the big turnaround the team has seen since the end of 2013. I can’t wait to carry on and continue pushing even more for the team, and for myself.”
Williams has enjoyed an impressive revival in F1 over the past two years, bouncing back from the backend of the midfield to become the third best team in the sport behind Mercedes and Ferrari.
Team boss Sir Frank Williams spoke about the importance of stability and continuity following this announcement, expressing his delight with both of his drivers.
“I’m delighted to confirm that Felipe and Valtteri will be racing for Williams once again next year,” Williams said.
“Stability is key for any team to thrive in F1, so to be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum towards the front of the grid in 2016.”