Valtteri Bottas is close to signing with Mercedes for the 2017 Formula One season in a move which will see Felipe Massa come out of retirement and return to racing with Williams.
Just a few days ago, Claire Williams said the racing outfit would be willing to release Bottas from his contract if it could find a suitable driver to lead the team. Now, BBC Sport reports that the deals are just days away from being inked.
It is suggested that by releasing Bottas from his current contract and allowing Mercedes to sign him and fill the vacant seat left by world champion Nico Rosberg, the Williams team receive a payment almost equal to its 2017 Mercedes engine bill, worth roughly 17 million euros ($17.6 million).
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff is believed to have favored Bottas as he is viewed as a dependable driver that can provide consistent results, just like Rosberg.
Felipe Massa only decided to retire from the sport in September and at the time said he was proud of what he had achieved. Now, we will return to the series for at least one season to lead the squad and support 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll.