Racing

Massa replaces Maldonado at Williams in 2014

LONDON (AP) — Felipe Massa has replaced Pastor Maldonado at Williams and will race for the Formula One team from the 2014 season after eight years at Ferrari.

The 32-year-old Massa will partner Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas next season, following in the footsteps of Brazilian drivers Ayrton Senna and Rubens Barrichello who both drove for the British team. "I'm glad to be signing with another icon of the sport following my time at Ferrari," Massa said in a statement after agreeing to a multi-year deal. Terms and length of the contract were not released by Williams.

Massa has 11 race wins in his career, which includes two seasons at Sauber, and finished second in the 2008 world championship to Lewis Hamilton by a single point. But the Sao Paulo native has struggled since a near-death crash at Budapest in 2009.

Massa will be replaced by former teammate Kimi Raikonnen at Ferrari, with Maldonado reportedly set to take the Finn's seat at Lotus. "I'm highly motivated to start working hard from the very beginning in what is an exciting new challenge in my career," Massa said. "I hope my experience will be useful in helping the team in its effort to move on from a difficult period."

Williams is having a disastrous season with Maldonado earning the British team its lone point of the season. "(Massa) brings a wealth of experience as we begin a new chapter in our story," team principal Frank Williams said.

F1 will introduce a new V6 engine plus major rule changes from next year, and Massa feels optimistic about his new team's chances with a regulations shake-up. "I don't remember seeing so many new rules in a single season," Massa said, "and I'm fully prepared to work with everyone at Grove to make sure we find the right direction."

Maldonado leaves after three seasons with Williams, where the Venezuelan driver won the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012.

Related Headlines

  • Fernando Alonso

    Struggling Red Bull calls it quits on 3rd test day

    Engine trouble limited Red Bull's new car to a handful of laps on the third day of Formula One preseason testing, with Daniel Ricciardo sputtering to a halt seconds into his ... 

  • Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull sputters out of Jerez test early

    Red Bull's frustrating start to Formula One testing came to a sputtering halt on Friday as four days of car problems ended with another early retirement, this time due to a ... 

  • Mercedes technical director leaving after season

    Mercedes says its technical director will leave the Formula One team at the team of the 2014 season and will not be replaced. The team says Bob Bell resigned in December but ... 

  • New era promises shake-up in Formula One

    For jaded Formula One fans weary of Sebastian Vettel's dominance in recent years, an overdue shake-up is coming. A switch to six-cylinder turbo engines has forced a radical ...