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Williams to replace Maldonado

2013-11-12 08:16

FERRARI VETERAN MOVES ON: Ferrari pays tribute to veteran driver Felipe Massa as he leaves the teams and heads to Williams for the 2014 F1 season. Image: AP

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Ferrari's Felipe Massa will replace Pastor Maldonado at Williams for the 2014 Formula 1 season after signing a multi-year contract.

The team said that Valtteri Bottas would remain as its second driver.

Massa said: "When I was a kid I always dreamed about racing for Ferrari, Williams or McLaren. I'm glad to be signing with another icon of the sport after my time at Ferrari."

BRAZILIAN LEGACY

Massa has raced for Ferrari since 2006 with 11 GP wins. His drive with Williams follows famous names such as Ayrton Senna, Nelson Piquet, Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna - each, like Massa, a Brazilian.

Team principal Frank Williams said: "He is an exceptional talent and a real fighter on the racetrack. He also brings a wealth of experience as we begin a new chapter in our story."

Ferrari has already announced that Kimi Raikkonen, out of contract with Lotus at the end of the 2013 season, will replace Massa.

Maldonado brought substantial backing from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA - which will end when he departs from the team - to Williams when he arrived in 2011 but has become frustrated with only one point this season.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: "This announcement is a key step towards our goal of returning Williams to the front of the grid and part of our ongoing plans to ensure we are stronger in 2014 and beyond.

"The stability of having both our drivers on multi-year contracts, Mercedes-Benz as our engine partner, and a strong commercial base all contribute to the future success of the Williams F1 team."

Massa said 2014, with a new V6 engine being introduced and major rule changes, would be a fresh start: "I hope my experience will be useful in helping the team to move on from a difficult period. I'm fully prepared to work with everyone to make sure we find the right direction.

"I'm highly motivated to start working hard from the very beginning in what will be an exciting new challenge in my career."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 United States GP weekend.
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