Williams to replace Massa with ride-buyer

Massa – no check, no drive

They have yet to announce their driver pairing for 2015, but according to German news outlet Auto Motor Und Sport, Williams are considering replacing Felipe Massa for a pay driver to make up for the money not obtained by selling Bottas to Ferrari.

Reports suggest Williams were looking for a $25-million fee for Valtteri Bottas.

They also report, Williams team principal Claire Williams has been asking sponsors Petrobras for additional support. With many of the midfield teams struggling financially, it makes sense for Williams to opt for a pay driver.

The team went down the pay-driver route in 2012 where Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna drove for the team.

Despite these rumors, earlier this month, Felipe Massa says he expects to stay at Williams in 2016.

When questioned as to whether he saw himself still at the team in 2016 he said: "I hope so. Nothing's changed at the moment, I don't see why I should not be there.

"I'm really enjoying working with the team. The team is really respecting me 100 per cent and I think enjoying the way I work with the team as well.

"I see that the team is growing, growing and getting stronger most of the time."

After missing out on a Ferrari seat, Valtteri Bottas is likely to be confirmed at Williams for 2016. In 2014, Williams confirmed Bottas and Massa would remain at the team for 2015 at the Italian Grand Prix.

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