Date: 12th November 2013 at 9:54am
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If someone new to Formula One looked at the current constructors championship, they might be confused by Felipe Massa’s move from Ferrari to Williams.

Ferrari are currently third in the constructors standings with 323 points and in the mix to finish the season as runners-up if they can gain just a few points on Mercedes.

Whilst Williams on the other hand are ninth, having taken just a single point all season, that’s just one point ahead of Caterham and Marussia.

The casual follower of Formula One would be forgiven for comparing the move to a footballer leaving Manchester United for Crystal Palace.

But Formula One isn’t as simple and as clear cut as that.

Williams might not be the superpower they once were in the 1990’s, but with the new regulations for next season, Formula One is expecting a shake-up amongst it’s hierarchy.

The move to Williams could prove a very astute one, if Williams can put together a car that their staff are capable of.

For 2014 they already have new technical director Pat Symonds in place and he is overseeing further changes in engineering staff, which could include Massa’s Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley.

Smedley is expected to join Williams as head of race engineering.

Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams told the BBC: ‘We’ve done a lot of work this year in order to turn this team around and we want to tell the world that.

‘Williams are not satisfied with coming ninth in the championship.’


But the biggest factor in Williams ambitions for next season comes with the engine.

Williams in the past few seasons have tried to bring back the romance of the Williams Renault partnership of couple of decades ago, but it simply hasn’t worked, but a switch to Mercedes for 2014 certainly has an awful lot of potential.

Many in the Formula One paddock believe that Mercedes could have the advantage following the change in engine regulations and Massa is certainly looking forward to a switch from Ferrari to Mercedes power.

‘Many people are very positive about Mercedes, you hear so many things about the Mercedes engine in 2014 and that’s the engine we are going to use here.’ The 32-year-old Brazilian told Sky Sports.

‘For sure, big teams have more possibility to build a good car but it’s a big change for everyone and so many and you could see another team have a good year in 2014.’

Claire Williams continued: ‘We’ve made some very clear decisions this year from announcing the Mercedes partnership to bringing in a new technical director in Pat Symonds, and this [signing Massa] is another piece of our jigsaw to tell the world that Williams is determined to come back and determined to fight for world championships again.’

The decision to partner Felipe Massa with Valtteri Bottas, leaves an interesting conundrum for Pastor Maldonado who is now without a drive for 2014.

The Venezuelan will not be short of offers due to his massive sponsorship backing from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA, but where will he go?

He has been heavily linked with Lotus, but with their new financial package almost in place, they look likely to sign Nico Hulkenberg to partner Romain Grosjean.

Force India might be an option with either Adrian Sutil or Paul Di Resta to make way, while Sauber could also be interested if the money Maldonado brings to the team is greater than that on offer from Mexican communications company Telmex who partner Esteban GutiƩrrez.

Massa to replace Maldonado at Williams

 

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