Former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber has advised Williams to leave recently retired driver Felipe Massa to relax, and turn instead to LMP1 – the prototype class in the World Endurance Championship – to find a potential replacement for Valtteri Bottas.
This comes after World Champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement shortly after securing the title, leaving Mercedes needing to find a new driver.
Rumours have linked Williams’ Bottas with Mercedes, particularly due to the fact that the Finn’s manager is Toto Wolff – the Team Principal of the team. Wolff has also identified Bottas as being the team’s number one target to replace Rosberg.
Although there will not be any announcements made until after Christmas, Williams has reportedly offered Massa a total of £5 million to return to the team.
The Brazilian announced his retirement from F1 in September, and completed what maybe is no longer his 250th start in Abu Dhabi, in the final Grand Prix of the season.
Webber, who drove for the team in the years 2005 and 2006 has commented via Twitter that he believes that Williams should just ‘leave Massa to relax’, and should chase instead LMP1 drivers Brendon Hartley, Sebastian Buemi, or Lucas di Grassi, who all have experience in an F1 car and have starred in WEC in recent years.
Negotiations are reportedly taking place, and it is yet to be announced wether or not Massa will make a return to the sport.