In the ongoing search for a suitable replacement for recently retired Champion Nico Rosberg, the Mercedes Petronas F1 team is looking hard at Valtteri Bottas. Earlier this week, Williams reportedly turned down Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff's offer to release the Finnish driver, but now, the team is speaking publicly about a potential deal.
spoke to Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal for the Williams F1 team, regarding the matter.
"If we did allow Valtteri to leave, we would only do this if an experienced, credible alternative was available, such as someone like Felipe Massa, for example," she said.
"However, Williams has its own ambitions and we must always ensure we give our team the best opportunity to move forward. Any changes would only be made if Williams remains in a strong position to compete and develop in 2017."
Since Rosberg's shock retirement just five days after his championship victory in Abu Dhabi, Mercedes Petronas has been struggling to find someone with enough skill and experience to fill his seat in time for the upcoming season.
At one point, fan favorite Fernando Alonso seemed to be in the running, but according to , he's shot down any rumors of parting ways with McLaren-Honda.
"I believe in this project," he said. "I'm committed and I want to be world champion with McLaren-Honda. That's my only goal."