Williams F1 team announces 2016 driver line-up

Williams has retained drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for the 2016 Formula 1 season

Williams F1 team announces 2016 driver line-up

It will be the third successive year the Grove-based organisation will run with the pairing and comes swiftly after Ferrari opted not to pursue Bottas despite speculation linking the Finn with the Scuderia.

Williams claims Bottas has "become such a staple" of the team, while Massa's "blend of experience and raw speed is a rare attribute in Formula 1".

Heading into what will be his fifth season overall with Williams after starting out as a test driver in 2012, Bottas said: "I am really pleased to be staying with the team for a fourth F1 race season.

"We have been getting stronger as a team and I look forward to what next year will bring, as I believe we can achieve even stronger results than what we have seen so far.

"I can't wait for 2016, however, I am still fully focused on this season as we still have plenty of challenges to achieve.

"I must thank everyone at Williams for their continued trust in me."

Massa added: "I am very happy to be a part of the Williams family.

"I am in my second year here and am so pleased to be staying as we are working very well together as a team.

"They respect me a lot and the results are there, and it has been so nice to be part of the big turnaround the team has seen since the end of 2013.

"I can't wait to carry on and continue pushing even more for the team, and for myself."

Team principal Sir Frank Williams felt stability was key to enable his organisation to progress "and thrive in Formula 1" going into next season.

He said: "To be able to enter a third season with one of the strongest driver line-ups on the grid puts Williams in a fantastic position to continue its momentum towards the front of the grid in 2016.

"Felipe thrives in an environment where he is valued and can build a long-term relationship and we are delighted he has become such an important part of the Williams family.

"We are as excited about the prospect of Valtteri's potential as a championship contender as we are about returning the Williams name to the top of Formula 1.

"Felipe and Valtteri quickly developed an exceptional working relationship from the beginning of 2014 and, while they remain fiercely competitive as rivals, they have always recognised the value of their collaboration in driving the team up the grid."

2016 F1 DRIVER LINE-UPS

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton/Nico Rosberg
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel/Kimi Raikkonen
Williams: Valtteri Bottas/Felipe Massa
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo/tbc
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg/tbc
Lotus: tbc
Toro Rosso: tbc
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson/Felipe Nasr
McLaren: Fernando Alonso/tbc
Manor: tbc
Haas: tbc

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