Williams: It is still to be decided who will replace Massa

Robert Kubica

Williams are talking to Robert Kubica about the Polish driver making a comeback with them next season, but a decision has yet to be made on a replacement for Felipe Massa, the Formula 1 team confirmed on Tuesday.

Responding to media reports that a deal had been done, Williams said no driver announcement was imminent.

“Although conversations are ongoing with Kubica, it is still yet to be finally decided who will replace Massa,” they said in a statement. “We will make an announcement when we have something to announce but nothing is planned this weekend in Abu Dhabi.”

Sunday’s race at Yas Marina is the last of the season, with Brazilian Massa saying farewell to the sport he entered in 2002.

Canadian teenager Lance Stroll is certain to stay with the former world champions but a handful of drivers are in the frame to replace Massa.

They include the 32-year-old Kubica, who is bidding to return after a seven-year absence. The Pole partially severed his right forearm in an horrific 2011 crash during a rally he entered for fun before the start of that Formula 1 season, and there are lingering doubts about his arm movement.

However the Pole has twice tested a 2014 Williams car, after failing to secure a seat at Renault, and is being represented by retired 2016 world champion and former Williams driver Nico Rosberg.

He could also take part in a tyre test in Abu Dhabi with Williams next week, although the team have yet to confirm that. Massa and Stroll will take part in all the grand prix practice sessions.

A race winner in Canada with BMW-Sauber in 2008, Kubica has plenty of fans and admirers within the sport — including Mercedes’ four-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Other contenders for the Williams seat are the team’s British reserve driver Paul di Resta, Russian Daniil Kvyat and Pascal Wehrlein.