Williams wants to do 'right thing' for Mercedes F1 target Bottas

Williams wants to do the right thing by Mercedes target Valtteri Bottas and does not want to stand in his way with regards to his Formula 1 future

Williams wants to do 'right thing' for Mercedes F1 target Bottas

Mercedes contacted Williams to discuss the possibility of releasing Bottas for 2017, as it needs a team-mate for Lewis Hamilton following F1 world champion Nico Rosberg's sudden retirement in December.

The two teams have been locked in discussions over Christmas and into the New Year but an agreement has yet to be reached.

However, speaking at Autosport International, deputy team principal Claire Williams hinted talks were entering the final stages.

Asked if it was simple a case of crossing the Ts and dotting the Is, Williams replied: "Yes, it now is exactly that.

"I suppose as soon as Nico made his announcement, I knew the call was going to come from [Mercedes team boss] Toto [Wolff].

"I know that he's admired Valtteri - many people do admire Valtteri's talent.

"For us, you don't want to stand in the way of a driver who has the opportunity to go and race finally in a car that's winning races, it's winning world championships."

Williams fended off interest from Ferrari for Bottas in 2015 and the Finn agreed with the team that gave him his F1 debut to stay put.

"Everybody knows Ferrari were after Valtteri, in 2015, and we stood in his way and he stood by us," she said.

"You have to do the right thing sometimes but we as a team have to do the right thing by the 650 other employees that we have at Williams.

"We need to make sure that if we are to release Valtteri, we have the best credible option to replace him with but also put in the best structure that supports that moving forward.

"I wish I could announce who it was, we are still crossing the Ts and dotting the Is at the moment with all of the contracts.

"We will be making an announcement shortly because we are testing soon and we all want to know who's going to be driving for us."

It is believed that Bottas will be replaced by Felipe Massa, who announced his retirement last September but has been tempted back to the team he spent the last three years with.

Williams said the fact the team had a customer engine deal with Mercedes has nothing to do with the negotiations.

"Just because we're a customer of Mercedes, Toto picks up the phone to me and I go 'alright then'," Williams said.

"Anyone that knows me knows that I don't just go, 'alright then', when someone phones me up if they want something.

"We pay for our engines, we pay on time for our engines and therefore they don't have any right to come to us and say, 'you need to release this driver for us now'.

"If I decided not to release Valtteri, then Mercedes would be fine - [saying] 'no problem, thank you for thinking about it'."

shares
comments
1997 F1 champion Villeneuve believes modern drivers lack respect

Previous article

1997 F1 champion Villeneuve believes modern drivers lack respect

Next article

FIA simulated Alonso's 2016 Melbourne crash with F1 halo

FIA simulated Alonso's 2016 Melbourne crash with F1 halo
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
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…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
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