Formula 1

Felipe Massa's management deny Williams deal

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Felipe Massa's management has denied reports that the Brazilian has signed a new five-year deal with Williams from 2014, according to Motorsport.com.

Ousted by Ferrari, the 36-year-old is currently out of a seat for next season, though with a reported $6m in sponsorship from Brazilian company Petrobras and Pastor Maldonado unhappy at Williams a potential switch is on the cards.

Alessandro Aluni Bravi, who reportedly works with Massa's manager Nicolas Todt, denied reports claiming a deal had been however.

"Felipe has already expressed that racing with Williams in 2014 would bea good option," he said, "but still there is nothing certain," he said.

"Firstly," Bravi added, "who signs a five year contract today in Formula One?

"Sebastian renewed for two seasons, Lewis has a three-year commitment with Mercedes. But this (report about Massa) is information without origin and it could only (adversely) affect the negotiations."

Bravi revealed Williams is far from the only option on the table for Massa: "Williams is just one of the scenarios for us. We have talked with Lotus, Force India and Sauber as well.

"But we have not got to the level of discussing the contract term and details of how our relationship with the team would be," he added.

Should a deal be done it is widely expected Petrobras would replace Maldonado's sponsor PDVSA.

Currently the Venezuelan oil giant is the subject of a corruption investigation, though Williams claimed that was not a factor.

"We have a contract with PDVSA, and to our knowledge, this investigation has nothing to do with us." claimed deputy boss Claire Williams.

As for the man himself, Maldonado did little to calm the rumours in India: "If I decide to leave," he is quoted by Spain's EFE news agency, "someone has to come to the team and I would wish Felipe well, to continue (in F1).

"It is not yet decided, so let's see what happens in this final part of the season," Maldonado added.

Though Claire, daughter of team founder Sir Frank Williams, played down the Massa talk claiming the team is happy with their current drivers.

"We are not in a position to announce our driver lineup, so I can't comment on these rumours," she told Brazil's Totalrace.

"It is pure speculation," added Williams, who did acknowledge Massa's skills, history and experience.

"Felipe has a great history in the sport," she said. "He is an experienced driver and Williams is always interested in talents such as Felipe.

"But at the moment we have two drivers under contract who are doing a great job for us," Williams added, also referring to Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas.

She did, however, talk about the great history Williams has working with Brazilian drivers.

"Historically, we've had some great Brazilian drivers and we always get on well with them," said Williams.

"I think it has to do with the passion that the two sides have for the sport - it makes a good fit."

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