No Mercedes replacement for retired world champion until 2017

December 23 2016 , 12:00 am

The German announced his retirement last month – five days after winning his first world title and despite signing a new two-year deal in July.

Mercedes have the problem of finding a team-mate for Lewis Hamilton when all leading drivers are signed elsewhere.

They want to sign Williams’ Valtteri Bottas but have so far not been able to negotiate a deal for the Finn.

I’m F1 Fan understands that they are in advanced talks with Bottas and a contract for Massa to return to Williams has been drawn up.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff had offered Williams a 10m euro (£8.4m) reduction in their engine bill in return for releasing Bottas from his 2017 contract with Williams.

The team were also given the option of running Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, although this was not a requirement of the deal.


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