Williams confident Bottas deal was ‘right thing’ to do


Claire Williams believes allowing Valtteri Bottas join Mercedes was in the best interests of the Williams team - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Claire Williams is sure the deal to allow Valtteri Bottas to leave to join the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team in 2017 were in the best interests of her Williams Martini Racing squad.

Bottas was allowed to make the switch after the retirement of World Champion Nico Rosberg, with Mercedes’ Toto Wolff revealing that a financial contribution was made to Williams in order for the Finn to join Mercedes, with Felipe Massa ending his short retirement in order to return alongside rookie Lance Stroll.

Williams, the deputy Team Principal of the Grove-based team, feels the deal was a good one for the whole Williams team, and expects Massa to enjoy himself as he extends his career for another season.

“We made sure it could work for us,” said Williams to Motorsport.com. “I have total confidence in the decision I made. I think we did the right thing, and I have no regrets.

“Anyone who knows me will know I did a good deal for this team, and I would only have made that move if it was in the best interests of the team.

“Everyone knows how much I love this team, how important this is to me and how much I want it to get back to winning. I’m looking forward to seeing what Felipe can do – I hear that fire in his voice again.

“The pressure is off. He’s coming back for a swansong and he can have good fun.”