Williams Formula 1 team stays silent on Bottas-to-Mercedes talks

Williams is remaining silent regarding talk Formula 1 rival Mercedes is interested in signing Valtteri Bottas to replace Nico Rosberg in 2017

Williams Formula 1 team stays silent on Bottas-to-Mercedes talks

World champion Rosberg's shock retirement has left Mercedes with little time and a small pool of drivers - especially those not under contract - to choose from to find a new F1 team-mate for Lewis Hamilton.

GARY ANDERSON: Bottas and Button can solve Mercedes' problem

A source suggests Mercedes contacted Williams to discuss the possibility of releasing Bottas, who has Mercedes chief Toto Wolff as part of his management team.

As part of the package, Williams is believed to have been offered a reduction in the cost of its 2017 engine supply - around £10m - as well as the opportunity to run its reserve Pascal Wehrlein.

That offer was rejected but it is believed a second proposal is being formulated.

When contacted by Autosport, a Williams spokesperson said: "We announced our 2017 drivers as Valtteri and Lance [Stroll] so have no comment on anything else."

The team is keen to hold on to Bottas and his experience next year, given his 18-year-old team-mate Stroll will be making his F1 debut.

Partnering him with Wehrlein would mean its drivers only have one year's F1 experience between them and risks it dropping further down the constructors' championship, having slipped from third to fifth in 2016.

Its primary sponsor Martini is also known to have concerns about its two drivers being under 22 years of age.

Wehrlein has said he is ready to step up to replace Rosberg, following a season with Manor, but it is believed Mercedes is uncertain if he yet has the necessary experience.

Another Mercedes junior, Esteban Ocon recently signed a deal with Force India, which is keen to keep hold of the Frenchman for next season.

Carlos Sainz Jr has also emerged as a contender for the vacant Mercedes seat.

The Spaniard has a contract with Red Bull to continue with Toro Rosso for a third season in 2017.

However, Autosport understands there is the possibility of him being released from that seat, should an offer come from Mercedes.

WILLIAMS ALSO QUIET ON LOWE

Williams has also remained tight-lipped on suggestions it will sign Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe.

Out of contract with Mercedes at the end of this month, Lowe started his grand prix career with Williams and was part of the team behind its dominance in the early 1990s, then spent two decades with McLaren.

Williams is understood to be discussing making tweaks to its technical team, but when contacted for comment on Lowe it said: "This is speculation so we have no comment."

shares
comments
Kvyat's Formula 1 season was about 'survival' after Red Bull axing

Previous article

Kvyat's Formula 1 season was about 'survival' after Red Bull axing

Next article

Felipe Nasr wants chance to improve F1 qualifying pace in 2017

Felipe Nasr wants chance to improve F1 qualifying pace in 2017
Load comments
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash Plus

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after F1 title rivals’ Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race Plus

The signs that suggest Mercedes can win the Silverstone F1 race

Red Bull and Max Verstappen scored an early blow against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Silverstone, with sprint qualifying race victory. But that doesn’t mean Sunday’s grand prix is a foregone conclusion. Although Verstappen starts as the favourite, here’s why Mercedes still holds hope of winning

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2021