This season, though, it's back in contention. The Williams team has already scored five podium finishes so far, putting it in third place in the championship – the best it's done since 2003. Part of that could come down to the benefits of the Mercedes engine that's proven dominant this year, but Williams is already far outperforming McLaren and Force India, both of which use the same power unit. No, a large part of the credit goes to its drivers, both of which the team is keeping in place for next season.
Following (spoiler alert!) its 3-4 finish at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, Williams confirmed contract extensions for both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa for at least one more season. The pair currently sit in fourth and ninth place in the drivers' standings, respectively, and both they and their seats had been the subject of much speculation since the drivers and their team have proven top performers this season.
The announcement makes Williams one of five teams to have already confirmed both its drivers for next season, alongside Mercedes (Rosberg and Hamilton), Ferrari (Alonso and Raikkonen), Red Bull (Vettel and Ricciardo) and Toro Rosso (Verstappen and Kvyat). Lotus is also retaining Pastor Maldonado while Force India keeps Nico Hülkenberg on board, leaving ten seats still up for grabs.