Williams retain Bottas and Massa for 2016

Thu Sep 3, 2015 5:43am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Finland's Valtteri Bottas and Brazilian Felipe Massa will be racing for Williams again next season, the Formula One team said on Thursday in an announcement ending speculation about the possible return of Jenson Button.

"Stability is key for any team to thrive in Formula One," said principal Frank Williams in a statement at the Italian Grand Prix.

"So to be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum toward the front of the grid in 2016."

The decision means yet another unchanged lineup among the leading teams, with champions Mercedes and Ferrari having confirmed lineups and both Red Bull drivers under long-term contracts.

Bottas had been strongly linked to Ferrari as a likely replacement for compatriot Kimi Raikkonen until the Italian team confirmed the 2007 world champion would be staying with them for another year.

There had also been speculation that 2009 world champion Button could move from McLaren, who are having a nightmare season and have younger drivers knocking on the door, to Williams where he started his career in 2000.

Bottas could still be in the frame to move to Maranello in 2017, however, with the statement referring only to next year.

"I am really pleased to be staying with the team for a fourth F1 race season," said the 26-year-old, who took a third place in Canada earlier this season.   Continued...