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Mercedes and Williams speculation intensifies

NEWS STORY
21/12/2016

While nobody at the heart of the story is saying anything, speculation surrounding Mercedes and Williams intensifies, with some claiming the deal is done, others that it is imminent others waiting on official news and the rest sick to death of the whole sorry saga.

Right now, as we head into the Christmas break, most fans want the story officially confirmed or denied just so they can concentrate on things other than F1 over the break.

If nothing else however, with the engines having been switched off three-and- a-half weeks ago, Bernie Ecclestone will be delighted to see the sport still hogging its fair share of the headlines.

As of today, it appears that Valtteri Bottas is heading to Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg, while Felipe Massa will 'un-retire' after just three-and-a-half weeks of the pipe and slippers routine to rejoin Williams in place of his former teammate.

Keeping up?

Of course, this all depends on Bottas wanting to join Mercedes - and why wouldn't he - Massa agreeing to un-retire - not that he really wanted to retire in the first place - and Mercedes and Williams agreeing suitable terms.

Those at the heart of the matter are saying nothing, indeed Massa's social media activity in recent days has been all about his holiday while Bottas' tweets mostly related to his wife and the FINA World Swimming Championships.

Other than a sizeable discount on the engine package it supplies to Williams, it is understood that Mercedes would need to agree to Paddy Lowe heading to Grove without having to stop off in his garden for any considerable time - Williams having eased that particular journey by timely parting company with Pat Symonds.

Lewis Hamilton has made it clear that he would have a say in the matter, but he is unlikely to say no to Bottas.

Finally, Mercedes will need to finance a seat for Pascal Wehrlein, most likely at Sauber, which, as it happens, is powered by Ferrari, a return to Manor looking unlikely.

As speculation looks set to reach critical mass over the coming days, the one person who must be laughing his socks off is Rosberg, who started this whole thing in the first place.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by mickl, 23/12/2016 19:11

"I re-iterate my post made on another thread. If he has any sense of humour I hope Nico is rolling around peeing himself with laughter with all the havoc he's caused :)"

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2. Posted by Yeyox02, 21/12/2016 21:21

"It has been much more interesting the Mercedes vacant seat saga than the championship itself, indeed."

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3. Posted by FormerF1Fan, 21/12/2016 19:25

"Has anyone asked Hamilton if he is going to play nicely with any of these fellows if they turn out to be faster?"

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4. Posted by Tweek, 21/12/2016 18:22

"I'm pulling for Helkenberg. He won Le Mans a couple years ago. Always finishes "above his car" and is well respected up and down the paddock. It's time he got a fast ride"

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5. Posted by GrahamG, 21/12/2016 16:51

"Webber was very clear about why he was retiring, so I don't see that one. Frank Williams has always been famously dismissive about drivers and Massa does have a couple of big things in his favour, he dragged Williams up by its bootstraps when he joined from Ferrari and he has lots of experience in development. If Stroll outpaces him fine, no-one is going to be shocked or amazed but he will be able to do a cast iron job in the background, particularly with Rob Smedley changing roles, perhaps to something more development based. "

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6. Posted by jackois, 21/12/2016 12:49 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 21/12/2016 12:55)

"So, according to speculation, Williams will once again, settle for second best to please Mercedes or rake in a load of cash for Bottas?

Massa is a poor choice to 'un-retire' as he didn't look that much on the pace, even before his announcement. The main winners in this, so far, are the press."

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7. Posted by ryanhellyer, 21/12/2016 12:40

"Has anyone suggested Mark Webber yet? He retired, won the world endurance championship, and as far as I know is now free. Perhaps he could be an option for Mercedes? I don't know if he'd be interested, but perhaps is arm could be bent in exchange for a seat at Mercedes. He already has connections with them from many years ago."

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8. Posted by ryanhellyer, 21/12/2016 12:38

"I'm guessing the decision has already been made, and it's just the negotiation of terms which is taking place now."

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