Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (L) answers a question from a journalist alongside new driver Lance Stroll during the announcement by Williams Martini Racing of their driver line up for the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship at the team headquarters in Grove, west of London on November 3, 2016. Canadian teenager Lance Stroll will replace veteran Felipe Massa in Williams's driver line-up for the 2017 season, the British team announced on Thursday. Stroll, who turned 18 last week, will line up alongside Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas, who will be entering his fifth successive year with Williams. / AFP / Adrian DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Williams technical director Pat Symonds has ruled out any chance of Mercedes taking their driver, Valtteri Bottas, to replace the now retired 2016 Formula One World Champion, Nico Rosberg.

Bottas, who is said to be number one on Mercedes shopping list for Hamilton’s 2017 teammate, is a vital part of the Williams line up which will feature a rookie driver, Lance Stroll.

“We will have Lance Stroll as a rookie with no experience in F1,” he was quoted as saying by the Gazzetta dello Sport. “So keeping Bottas will be crucial because losing him now would have a heavy impact on the team. People often underestimate the importance of continuity in a team. This will be especially true in a season in which they change the rules.”

It is said that Mercedes offered 5 million pounds for Bottas’ services in 2017 with the possibility of cutting the cost to Williams’ supply of customer Mercedes engines. With the economics of Formula One being quite fickle over the past few years, the money may be very hard for the Grove based squad to pass up.