Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  2 January 2017

Felipe Massa's decision to delay retirement a mistake - Jean Alesi

Former Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi believes Felipe Massa is making a mistake by deferring his retirement by a season to continue racing with Williams next season.

The Brazilian has agreed a deal with Williams which will see him partner rookie Lance Stroll following the team's decision to allow Valtteri Bottas to sign for Mercedes as Nico Rosberg's replacement.

Although no deals have yet been confirmed, sources have confirmed that contracts between Bottas and Mercedes and Massa and Williams have been drawn up and only require final signatures before being announced later this month.

Alesi, winner of the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix, says Massa could live to regret his decision.

"Honestly to me this is a mistaken decision," he told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Felipe has stopped, he’s turned a page. And what if he discovers that the Williams isn’t quick?"

Alesi says Rosberg's decision to retire, which has sparked this driver line-up frenzy, angered him to begin with but says he now understands the German's decision.

"To start with I thought the same as Lauda; I was surprised and angry. Let’s say I didn’t really get the logic of announcing your retirement the same week in which you won the title.

"But then I thought about it some more and I thought of Senna, of how he said he would drive for Williams for nothing and how hard he worked to make it happen and then he died. Perhaps Nico just didn’t feel like racing anymore."

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