Felipe Massa is at “the top of the list” to stay at Williams next year.
That is the claim of the Grove team’s deputy boss Claire Williams, having declared earlier at Silverstone that the Williams lineup for 2017 is yet to be decided.
Jenson Button is being strongly linked with a switch from McLaren-Honda, and Claire Williams doesn’t deny that, but she insists the team is not simply waiting for McLaren’s call.
“I said a few weeks ago that our decision has nothing to do with what other teams do.
“We have many options available so we need to make the best decision for our team and our business,” Williams explained.
The paddock mood is that Valtteri Bottas is likely to keep his place, with any Williams newcomer to replace Brazilian veteran Massa.
But Williams says Massa, 35, is definitely “on the list” for 2017.
“This is Felipe’s third year in our team and he’s done a great job for us,” she told Brazil’s Band News FM.
“It’s amazing to have him as part of our team. So of course with all the experience he brings to us, he is at the top of the list.”
Asked if another Brazilian – the strongly Banco do Brazil-backed driver Felipe Nasr who currently races for Sauber – is also on the list, Williams answered: “I cannot confirm who we’re talking to.”