Williams are dishing out the ‘party line’ to media outlets requesting comment with regards to speculation that their driver Valtteri Bottas is set to replace Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes team.
When approached for comment Williams have responded: “We have no further comment regarding our 2017 driver line-up following our announcement in November.”
The November announcement here>>> has Bottas partnering 18 year old Lance Stroll in the Williams team for 2017.
Reports have emerged in Britain claim that Mercedes have already made a bid amounting to £10-million for Bottas’ services, but Williams have supposedly turned the offer down.
Sources close to the team say that the big stumbling block is that Williams require a senior driver to mentor Stroll in his debut season, as the Canadian youngster’s billionaire father, Lamnce Stroll, has pumped substantial money into the team – a condition being that Bottas is his son’s teammate.
Furthermore title sponsor Martini is also insisting on a more ‘mature’ driver to carry out their promotional requirements. Stroll does not fit the bill for the purveyors of the alcoholic beverage.
Mercedes are adamant that they will respect the contracts in place between drivers and their teams, which leaves them with very few options to fill Rosberg’s shoes with a proven race winner.
The policy rules out the likes of Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and even Esteban Ocon. If the Bottas bid fails it is likely that the Silver Arrows management will opt for Pascal Wehrlien, who has been groomed by the German team as part of their junior driver programme.