Bottas joins Mercedes, Wehrlein joins Sauber and Massa cancels his retirement
After much speculating about the futures of Valtteri Bottas, Pascal Wehrlein and Felipe Massa – all three have now officially been signed into their respective teams. Valtteri Bottas will be stepping up to drive as Lewis Hamilton’s team-mate at Mercedes after the reigning world champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from Formula Ones. Bottas has been the most popular option for Mercedes (who also provides engines for Bottas’s former team Williams) pretty much from the get-go. We’ll see if Bottas now has a shot at the championship in 2017.
As a result of the move, Felipe Massa – originally planning to retire – has signed on for at least one more season at Williams as the team-mate to Canadian newcomer Lance Stroll.
Pascal Wehrlein, the other potential candidate for the Mercedes seat, has also confirmed that he will be driving for Sauber next year as the team-mate of Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson, for whom 2017 will be his fourth season in the sport and his third for Sauber. Wehrlein scored Manor’s only points last season and is, ironically, replacing Felipe Nasr, the Brazilian driver who helped Sauber beat Manor in the second-to-last race of the season.
The Manor team is once again under administration owing to its financial situation. This is also the reason why the team has not signed any drivers for the season and it remains to be seen if they can find a buyer for the team before the season’s start.