Retiring Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa has indicated that he knows who is set to replace him at the Grove based squad and partner Lance Stroll in 2018, but will not let on who it is.
Massa returned to Williams this season having retired from the sport at the end of 2016, as a favour to the Grove based squad when driver Valtteri Bottas was snapped up by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team to replace outgoing world champion Nico Rosberg, at extremely short notice.
Massa stepped in to help out, and has had a relatively good season, accumulating thirty-six points and finishing eleventh in the drivers championship. Once again, however, the Brazilian is set to leave the sport he has been a part of for fifteen years, and despite his aspirations to perhaps stay on for one more season, Williams made it clear they were looking for a replacement driver in 2018.
The Grove based squad are one of the last teams to name their driver line-up for next season, but are set to announce it now that the post season test in Abu Dhabi, where polish driver Robert Kubica drove the FW40, has taken place.
Kubica is thought to be the most likely candidate for the seat, having now done numerous tests for the British team in the last couple of months. However, Williams are keeping tight-lipped on that front and claim that other drivers are still in the frame. They include Sauber F1 Team driver and the Mercedes backed Pascal Wehrlein, Paul Di Resta, who stepped in for Massa at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix when the Brazilian was taken ill, Sergey Sirotkin and the out of favour Daniil Kvyat.
Massa has stated that he has already been told who will take the much sought after seat, but that was all he was willing to give away when asked who his money was on in Abu Dhabi recently.
“I already know who it is, so I don’t need to put money on it. But I will not tell you.”
When asked if he thought the decision made by Williams was the right one, he said it does not really concern him as he is leaving the sport, but he hopes the team do well.
“I hope it is the best option for the team. But I’m leaving, so it doesn’t matter to me.
“I am happy and I wish the team all the best.”