Mercedes are looking to bring in Williams driver Valtteri Bottas as Nico Rosberg’s successor, according to press reports.
Mercedes have already made a multi-million pound offer to try and acquire the services of the Finn, but Williams have rejected it, according to the BBC. Despite the first offer having been waved off, negotiations between both parties are expected to continue over the next few days.
The Silver Arrows’ boss Toto Wolff is part of Bottas’ management team and feels that the Finland native is the perfect replacement for Rosberg, who shocked the F1 community by announcing his retirement just five days after winning his first championship.
Williams will be determined to hang on to Bottas as he has been a consistent performer for them. The 27-year-old finished in the top 10 in almost every race in the recently concluded season and grabbed a third place at the Canadian Grand Prix.
If Bottas were to join Mercedes, the only other driver Williams have is 18-year-old rookie Lance Stroll. The Canadian has been involved in a test programme to prepare him for his F1 debut, but if he and 22-year-old Pascal Wehrlein were to be Williams’ drivers next season, the team are concerned that their inexperience could lead to a disappointing season.
To make matters worse, Wehrlein is currently in talks to join Sauber as they are looking for a driver to partner Marcus Ericsson.