Felipe Massa could be called out of his short retirement next year, should Mercedes and Williams come to an agreement in letting Valtteri Bottas join the Silver Arrows team for 2017.
Mercedes approached Williams earlier in the week attempting to secure the services of the 27-year-old, however, Williams rejected the offer even with the proposal of a reduced price in power units.
It is now expected that Mercedes is preparing a second pitch to sign Bottas rather than promote their own junior driver Pascal Wehrlein.
Williams intends to put up a fight to keep the Finn because of his experience with the car and team, given Lance Stroll will make his Formula 1 debut at the age of 18.
Deputy team principal Claire Williams told the BBC they would let Bottas leave for Mercedes “if an experienced, credible alternative was available”.
The team wants to secure an established driver to ensure they don’t fall further down the pecking order, as Williams fell to fifth in the constructors’ championship from third in 2016, losing out to both Red Bull Racing and close rivals Force India.
Now, recently retired Felipe Massa has become a contender to re-join the Williams team to replace Bottas if the Finn joins Mercedes.
Massa had been in talks with Williams and other F1 teams in securing a drive for 2017 throughout the season, but ultimately decided to retire from the sport once his options became limited.
The Brazilian recently posted this picture to his Instagram account of he and his family about to head off on their holiday with an interesting caption:
“massafelipe19: A caminho das férias! Curtir , relaxar e … on the way to our holidays ! Time to enjoy, have fun and (think emoji)… @raffamassa #Felipinho”
Mercedes has announced that no decision on their driver line-up will be made this year, sighting the earliest possibility of an announcement would be January 3.
Image via XPB Images