It appears as if we will soon have the answer as to who will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2017 with reports coming out of the Autosport Show in London over the weekend indicating that the Williams team are close to an agreement with the Formula One World Champions.
With all the top players signed to water tight contracts, it has been rumoured that current Williams racer, Valtteri Bottas was Mercedes choice to replace the now retired Nico Rosberg, however their first off to Williams was rejected. Now, after several weeks of negotiations, Williams Team Principal Clair Williams has revealed that the deal is just about done, and not just for Bottas to go, but for his replacement to join.
"It now is exactly that," she said, referring to finalizing a few minor details. “I suppose as soon as Nico made his announcement, I knew the call was going to come from Toto. 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.”
"We need to make sure that if we are to release Valtteri, we have the best credible option to replace him with. 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 strongly speculated that Felipe Massa, who left the team to retire from the sport at the end of the 2016 F1 season is on his way back to the sport with recent reports indicating he recently broke a contract to race in the Formula E championship.