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Williams remain tight lipped as Mercedes eye Bottas

2016-12-12 15:24

NEW DEAL IN F1? Valtteri Bottas, who is managed by Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff, is reportedly being courted by the German team. Image: AP / Olivier Matthys

London - Williams is not commenting on reports it rejected an initial offer from Mercedes to buy out Valtteri Bottas' 2017 contract.

As Mercedes looks to replace Nico Rosberg, Finn Bottas - managed by team boss Toto Wolff but under firm contract to Williams - has been named as a top contender.

But Britain's Sun newspaper said Williams rejected "an initial approach" by Mercedes to slash in half the price of the Grove team's 2017 customer engine bill.

Read: Wolff: 'Three names' on Mercedes F1 shortlist'

Williams, however, seems determined to hang onto the experienced Bottas.

German Formula 1 pundit Marc Surer told Speed Week: "Losing Bottas would be a disaster for Williams," German language pundit Marc Surer told Speed Week.

"Williams has compromised already to finance the team by signing Lance Stroll." 

When contacted by the Daily Mail, Williams refused to comment on the Bottas rumours.

Another reported candidate for the Rosberg seat is Toro Rosso star Carlos Sainz, but the Spanish newspaper AS reported: "According to our sources, Red Bull is not willing to let him go."

And former team boss Gian Carlo Minardi told his website: "Despite the denial of his manager, I still see Fernando Alonso in pole position."

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