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.