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Mercedes offer 10million for Bottas

It's a headline that sounds like a football transfer, but relatively speaking this is a fair description of the current negotiations between Mercedes and Williams.

Mercedes are desperate to land a suitable replacement for the retiring Nico Rosberg, who has placed the team that gave him the chance to win the 2016 Formula One World Championship in a bit of a fix.

The timing of the announcement prevents Mercedes approaching most drivers.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both appear to have water tight contracts at McLaren Honda and Ferrari respectively, despite both drivers probably eager to take the Mercedes seat if possible.

Other options such as Nico Hulkenberg are off the table as he has just signed a deal to move from Force India to Renault.

That has left Mercedes with their interest in Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas only signed a new contract with Williams last month, but his manager is Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

If Mercedes wanted to do a deal with Williams, they may be more welcoming considering Williams purchase Mercedes power-units and that's the angle that Mercedes have used according to a report by the BBC.

'Wolff has approached Williams with a proposal that he gives them a major reduction in their engine bill - said to be in the region of 10m euros (8.4m); more than half the total fee - in return for releasing Bottas.

But that approach has been rejected by Williams, who head into the 2017 season with a rookie driver in the form of 18-year-old Lance Stroll replacing Felipe Massa who has retired from the sport.

The same reason that Williams do not want to lose Bottas is the same reason why Mercedes want to sign him.

The 27-year-old Finnish driver has impressed the paddock during his four years in Formula One, where he has a best placed finish of 2nd [twice in 2014].

He would offer more experience to Mercedes, something that could prove crucial during a period of changing regulations and his laid back demeanour could be a perfect fit with Lewis Hamilton.

Plan B appears to be Pascal Wehrlein, the German is without a drive for 2017 and is already contracted to Mercedes.

He could of course be offered to Williams as part of any Bottas deal, but that would leave Williams with a very inexperienced line-up in a season full of regulation change.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 12 2016

Time: 12:24PM


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