Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Interlagos, 2016

Mercedes’ bid for Bottas ‘turned down by Williams’

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  • 135 comments on “Mercedes’ bid for Bottas ‘turned down by Williams’”

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      12th December 2016, 0:10

      The tweet from Manu Franco says (via a loose Google translate):

      James Allison (formerly of Ferrari and Lotus) could sign for Mercedes soon, negotiations very advanced.

      1. Yup, that is correct

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        12th December 2016, 8:37

        That’s a pretty accurate translation.
        Certainly better than translating ‘Dani Pedrosa’ as ‘Marc Marquez’ ;)

    2. I think, since 2011, I’ve read it more often than not, that Byrne is going to be involved in the “next year’s” car. The results have been consistently disappointing. I don’t know who is it that is deluding themselves and the team, that a guy who is not 100% dedicated and involved, can have a significant contribution in a sport with such a rapid technical development race.

      1. Also, every year Ferrari have gone “radical”.

        And every year it’s a disaster of radical proportions.

        1. How is being 2nd/3rd best a disaster of radical proportions? Give it a rest. So many bashers on Ferrari when they don’t win, and then when they do the same people say its because of an fia conspiracy.

          1. Except these were goals of Ferrari. Stated by Ferrari. 2nd or 3rd IS a disaster to them.

      2. You beat me to it!

        This is a classic example of Ferrari living in the past.

        They should come to terms with the fact that Rory Byrne is in the past. Sure, he is one of the great designers of the modern era, and his insight should be treated accordingly. But to use a semi retired engineer as your saviour is rather regressive.

        Ferrari need to move on. They have been struggling to do so for a while now.

      3. In one years time:
        “It is widely believed the 2018 Ferrari is a radical departure from previous efforts. Sources also point to a heavy influence from former designer Rory Byrne…”

      4. Biggsy, Adrian Newey stepped back from day to day operations at Red Bull in 2014 and is now only partially involved in the design process yet, despite not being “a guy who is not 100% dedicated and involved” in the design process, most people still seem to believe that he is making a significant contribution to Red Bull’s progress.

        @jaymenon10, if you believe that Ferrari is “living in the past”, then what would you say would be a clear sign of “moving on”? I’ve seen the comment that Ferrari should “move on”, but not seen many define what that would actually mean.

        1. Bringing back Jean Todd and Ross Brawn :-)

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          12th December 2016, 8:40

          you’re a star (@graham228221) looking this up and sharing it with us.

      5. It was the 2015 car that got influenced by Byrne. Remember the famous “chat” between Arrivabene and his engineers on what could make the car better for Kimi? In 2016 Byrne was not involved, it was James Allison at full control (2015 was not yet totally his car). This year they are missing Allison, so probably they called Byrne once more, who looks to be a very professional and passionate to accept such calls happily.
        While I do share the thoughts of some that Byrne is not fully involved and maybe can not fully understand the regulations, let’s not forget that he is one of the best designers who was key to the making of Ferrari a class of its own in the early 2000. And very important, you should not forget that that was a period with free develpoment, so dominating it was pretty harder than nowadays.
        Why Ferrari needs him? Maybe they can not put hands on some good designers who are snapped by the competition. Maybe it is all rumor.

    3. Mercedes has been turned down by Williams? So it won’t happen? Am I reading the title right, can’t seem to find the source.

      1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/38282791

        I still think it will happen. What it says is this:
        “But Williams have rejected an initial offer to release Finn Bottas from his 2017 contract.”

        I don’t think that means that Mercedes won’t keep trying to get him.
        In the end, Williams might eventually accept to release him, but we just don’t know.

      2. I think every driver has his price, so it just depends how badly Mercedes want him. I’d imagine this was just a first move to test the waters. Clearly, Bottas will want the move, so he’ll do his best to force it, but Williams are quite right to block it initially; for two reasons.

        1) It’s a massive inconvenience to lose Bottas. The potential replacements are scarce, given that no driver in a Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren or Force India will want to go there and of the others, Wehrlein is the best of a pretty underwhelming bunch (assuming Sainz stays with Red Bull). Stroll is completely unproven and will need a yard stick to give his own career gravitas; Bottas was going to be perfect for that.

        2) The longer they hold out, they either keep hold of their driver or the financial reward for losing him increases.

        In my opinion, they need to strike a deal that includes many millions, Paddy Lowe and either Wehrlein or more cash. In the event that they do not want Wehrlein, they should do everything they can to convince McLaren and Jenson Button that he should be at Williams.

        As an aside… I don’t know if a Formula One contract generally has a ‘release clause’ (like football)…

        1. Williams is going to have a very, very green driver next year. They need someone who can teach the new guy, and Bottas is a solid piece of their plan for 2017.

          I have difficulty seeing Williams letting Bottas go, to be honest.

      3. It means they’ve offered £X however Williams want £Y.

        To be fair, Bottas going leaves Williams with Stoll as their senior driver so i can’t imagine they’ll let him go cheap. They’ll have to spend some of what they get buying a driver from another team if they want a driver with any experience….

    4. They may as well hand Hamilton the championship now with then. If I were Williams, I would sell Bottas and go all out to sign Sinz.

      1. If I were Williams, I would sell Bottas and go all out to sign Sinz.

        I doubt they’ll get Sainz, and not even sure Sainz wants to move now.

        But getting Kvyat seems a good and more realistic alternative.
        More experience than Wehrlein/etc.; driven in various teams/cars, including a top team; shown some good results in the past; not happy where he sits today; very positive feedback from Tost.

        1. I wouldn’t let Kvyat drive my Focus let alone an F1 car! Am I the only person who thinks he is terrible?! He shows flashes of speed but far too inconsistent, accident prone, terrible attitude out of the car which makes the team look bad with the media, too quick to blame others/car/team etc. If Williams want a Red Bull reject, they’d be better going after someone like Buemi or Verne.

            1. @jcost No F1 race experience but yeah, I’d probably take him over Kvyat.

            2. since Rosberg’s retirement that name popped immediately in my head @jcost (not necesseraly for mercedes, but for a seat that could be available elsewhere after mercedes finished their business), but most likely just wishful thinking.

              Formula e is where RedBull former junior drivers end up, at least it seems like it

          1. @tonyyeb

            terrible attitude out of the car which makes the team look bad with the media

            Can you give an example?

            1. @paeschli by bad I think he means the uncomfortable mammer in wich he behaves, especially after the RB STR switch.

              He also had a few bad comments after the switch when his car broke down a couple of times in sucession

            2. @paeschli @johnmilk Yeah that was what I was meaning. But I did do a quick Google for Kvyat quotes and the first one I came across did make me change my mind a little about him (made me chuckle anyway!):

              Daniil Kvyat: The brakes are not working really well
              Team Radio: Ok, try and be a little bit more positive if you can.
              Daniil Kvyat: Yeah the brakes are good.

          2. He shows flashes of speed but far too inconsistent, accident prone, terrible attitude out of the car which makes the team look bad with the media, too quick to blame others/car/team etc.

            For a minute, I thought you were talking about Hamilton. lol

    5. I must say, I would be quite excited to see Sainz next to Hamilton. Much more so than Bottas.
      Although Toro Rosso might be quite competitive next year, I’d like to see how he goes in a front running car like Verstappen. It would also be better for his future, as there is no spot in the main Red Bull team for at least 2 years it would seem.

      1. +1000000

        Let’s get the campaign going, guys. Hamilton/Sainz 2017!

    6. This shows they are going for a number 2 driver to keep the peace at home.

      1. I’m afraid Alonso only has himself to blame. Blackmailing your own team for no.1 status carries long term consequences.

      2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
        12th December 2016, 8:56

        They’re probably leaving their options open for 2018 (i.e. Vettel). I’m surprised they went for someone as good as Bottas, to be honest – they need a stopgap driver.

        1. @thegrapeunwashed If Mercedes opt for Vettel over Ricciardo, they will basically have a dominant driver in the team.

        2. Problem is a stop gap driver won’t maximise points for 2017, they are thinking about the fight for the 2017 constructors championship, which is why Bottas is favoured over Wehrlein.

          1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
            12th December 2016, 11:31

            @ju88sy Bottas shouldn’t be willing to accept a 1-year contract, regardless of whether Williams want to keep him, and Mercedes shouldn’t be offering a longer term contract with Vettel free in 2018.

            Unless Mercedes go for a multi-year contract (and resign themselves to losing Vettel – madness!), they need a stopgap driver. As I said recently, Nasr is available, solid and would probably be willing to accept 1 year in a car capable of podiums. If Mercedes go for Bottas or (worse) Wehrlein they risk ruining a promising career.

            1. When they have Hamilton in seat number 1, they don’t need to compromise 2017 to try and get Vettel in the other seat for 2018. If Bottas can perform to a level close to Rosberg they are sorted.

            2. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
              12th December 2016, 12:06

              @ju88sy True, I think Bottas has similar speed to but better racecraft than Rosberg, so he’s an ideal replacement. But that rather assumes Hamilton will stay on at Mercedes past 2018, when his contract is up for renewal. I reckon the relationship has soured and Hamilton will swap teams if he feels there’s likely to be a competitive alternative by then… and McLaren are making good progress :-)

            3. Wehrlein isn’t that good. They can sign him for a year, throw him away, sign Alonso or Vettel in 2018 and go for Ocon after that.

    7. 2014 made the cars supposedly harder to drive by giving them more torque and less downforce. Now they’re harder to drive because they’ve got more downforce. I’m guessing in 2019 they’ll be harder to drive again because they’ll have less downforce again.

      1. Sadly not completely unlikely @strontium. But who knows, maybe Liberty does get Brawn on board and he comes up with a well thought through approach from 2021 onwards that will last a few years more

      2. Torque has nothing to do with it but the powerdelivery wasnt exactly smooth with the early turbo hybrid engines.

      3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        12th December 2016, 9:24

        A car that is more difficult to keep on the road due to reduced traction is a very different to a car that is more physically demanding to drive, i’m not sure what your point is here.

        1. @offdutyrockstar Just about to make that same point. Exactly right, different kind of difficulty. Same when TC was banned, requires more skill rather than physical toughness.

      4. @strontium It’s quite different for a car to be more difficult to drive technically vs. a more difficult car to drive physically.

      1. @selbbin – Had the same thought. Makes one wonder what Paddy Lowe’s current contract details might be. Have not not seen any info in that regard, but might have missed it.

        I’d like to see Lowe go to Williams, but if Williams were to lose Bottas now it would leave them in a bit of a spot with their drivers.

        1. I’m sure they’d pick up Pascal.. who isn’t great, but not a complete unknown like Stroll.

          I also think they would be getting a phenomenal deal if they are giving up Bottas for a gem like Paddy Lowe. A faster car is worth much more than a consistent driver.

        2. OK, saw in the bbc article Lowe is expected to give 6 months notice to leave. Mercedes want Allison. They want Bottas. They can let Lowe go to Williams and give Williams the reported £10m discount on engines or whatever more they can negotiate for from Mercedes.

          Who can they realistically team with the unproven rookie Stroll?
          Nasr? – available, but rather uninspiring
          Sainz? – good choice if they can overcome contract issues
          Button?
          Wehrlein? – Too young (major sponsor issues with Martini) and unproven alongside a rookie
          JPM? Why not?
          JEV? – How is JEV at car development and feedback? That is what they will really need going into 2017 and what they stand to lose in Bottas, not to mention the steady, fast, dependable, experienced hands.

          1. @bullmello Paul di Resta makes the most sense for me. He’s already at Williams and has shown has shown he can deliver solid points.

            1. @balue Overrated driver.

            2. @mashiat Underrated more like.

            3. @balue Wasn’t massively better than Sutil, outperformed by Hulkenberg and his feedback isn’t great, and his attitude is horrendous. One of the reasons Force India wanted to be rid of him.

            4. @mashiat Like I said, not overrated at all. The question here is who would most benefit Williams in the constructors next year, and for me di Resta would be a much better bet than Wehrlein, Nasr etc. At the end he was delivering solidly most races and is already a Williams driver. Agree his attitude was not good before, but will no doubt have mellowed and learned outside.

            5. @balue Wehrlein would probably be able to pick up more points imo, but as for Nasr, that guy should be put in a mental hospital for even thinking of being a Champion.

          2. Can’t believe they want Lowe to move on as he will be taking a lot of Mercedes knowledge him.

        3. Hm, well, @bullmello, I have also read that his contract ends at the end of this month and that could mean no gardening leave anyway
          It all depends on what obligations Williams have to other partners regarding their line up. They might just not be in a position to even think about it. Or they might want more.

          I still think either Bottas or Wehrlein are the most likely options for Mercedes, as most others are either not good enough or tied into contracts already.

    8. Williams counts on Bottas to bring the results home cuz they know Stroll isn’t good enough and may never be.

      Mercedes wants Bottas do be the points guy as his retirement rate is low, but for that task Pascal is more than ready. They are being too cautious on this matter. The guy scored with a Manor! What else does he need to do?

      1. The guy who refused to turn his engine off when he spun. I don’t think he’s a safe pair of hands just yet. At least relative to Bottas.

        1. The guy learnt his lesson.

        2. @sravan-pe – he refused a team order just like Hamilton and Vettel have done before. Doesnt mean he’s not a safe pair of hands….

          I agree Bottas is the safer bet but I think Wehrlein would do a decent job.

      2. Lewisham Milton
        12th December 2016, 18:47

        Stop piling into the back of other cars?
        Earn a drive without being placed there by Mercedes?

    9. Don’t miss tomorrows article where we reveal how the drivers and teams mentioned today will be shuffled around in a re-write of to-days article. Next year we will tell you how we were the only/first source to correctly predict the teams make-up.

      1. But I thought that bbc article was very “well informed” ….

    10. I think Sainz to Merc would be fantastic! Alternitively he could go to Williams. Either way it will be good to see him progress. I think Bottas is a very safe bet but won’t set the world on fire

      1. I was really hoping, that out of all the driver options Mercedes could opt for… they wouldn’t go for the least inspiring one. Bottas to Mercedes looks like a done deal. If they sen’t Paddy to Williams, they’ve probably signed most of the paperwork to get Bottas over.

        1. If they signed bottas and he also managed to give lewis somewhat of a Run for his Money, could we maybe finally agree to lewis being not that great? Or would he have to struggle with more than three not too highly rated team mates? Just a thought btw, no hate

          1. @mrboerns
            I’m not a fan of Lewis. But even I can’t deny that he isn’t among the top 3 drivers on the grid.

            If not Lewis, then which driver on the current grid would you deem a great?

            Please do not do something ridiculous and suggest Sebastian Vettel.

            1. @todfod
              Well, that may be the thing. The current grid may not have a great.

            2. The big four: Ricciardo, Verstappen, Vettel, (Hamilton) all are bound by contracts .
              So only the second row is available.

            3. @todfod
              Weeell, here’s the thing. Of course, the easy way out is saying there are currently no greats on the Grid. I think this holds at least some truth. But if i was forced to pick one as a great i would actually have to go with vettel.
              Here’s why: I guess taking the 2016 Grid, we can mostly disregard non-WDCs. Short shoutout to Verstappen and Riccardo, but its just to early to label them as greats. Now that leaves us with Button, Raikkönen, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton and Rosberg. While i do think Rosberg is a deserving champion as well as Button, i would not consider them greats. On the face of it its the same with Raikkönen, eventhough i think you should keep in mind the 2001-07 Kimi, so even if he’s not a great he’s closer than many make him out to be and certainly one of the biggest ever “naturals”. So now we have Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton.
              First Alonso: Alsonso had a car capable of winning the wdc in 05, 06, 07, 10, 12 (YES 12, the car sucked at the beginning but it was certainly a contender later on). Of those 5 opportunities, he managed two wdcs, and both times with luck on his side: He inherited three victories from his closest rival in 05(more than enough to turn the outcome) and one in 06 (at a very opportune moment). At the same time his bad luck in those years was very limited. mostly the monza-engine blow, notably while being BEHIND msc.
              It is also largely his fault he spent many years in uncompetitive machinery.

              Than we have Hamilton. He had a wdc-capable car in 07, 08, 10, maybe 11, 12, 14, 15, 16.
              of those he managed 3 titles. He threw away 07 with mistakes in shanghai and brazil. He threw away 08 in brazil and was beyond lucky for glock. i don’t remember 10, he completely blew 11 (eventhough 2nd might have been the maximum), he had bad luck in 12 but i don’t think he would have managed to win it(personal oopinion). he won 14 in the most dominant car EVER but just barely. He won 15 in the most dominant car ever. He LOST 16 in the most dominant car ever.( And yes, he had it in his hands to win it even with malaysia. Its the starts that won Nico the wdc, not the engine that cost Ham.)

              Next, look at Vettel. Vettel had a championship-capable car in 09, 10, 11, 12, 13.
              Of those he took 4 championships. In 09 the car came good to late for him. The Red Bull of the following years was never really dominant. Proof? His teammate managed 2nd in the wdc not once. even in the second half of 2013 it was not the two RedBulls out front. So it seems there was an awful lot coming from vettel there and not solely the car.
              I just don’t think i can argue with that. If there’s a great on the grid, its Vettel.

            4. I Forgot to mention the “Final Showdown” -statistics:
              Alonso had a final showdown in 06, 07, 10, 12. He won 06 from the comfortable Position while MSC had the puncture and a technical issue in qualy. He lost 07. he lost 10 because he couldn’t overtake PETROV. and he got mad at petrov for that. he lost 12 while vettel delivered one of the hardest drives of recent years.

              Hamilton Blew 07, actually blew 08 and got lucky, ok 10 was a lng shot, was gifted 14 but would have won anyways, couldn’t do much more in 16. Still, won two out of 5 and one rather very incredibly lucky.

              Vettel simply one them both. And as mentioned above, the 2012 thing was a real champions drive. and don’t forget, it was the second through-the-field-recovery drive in 3 races.

            5. @mrboerns
              I’d have to disagree with your logic of championship winning cars, especially because I consider the ferrari of 2010 and 2012 to be as much of a championship winning car as the 2015 Ferrari.

              Vettel, Hamilton and Alonso only won championships when they had the best car on the grid. The only season Alonso and Hamilton dropped the ball was in 2007,where they went up against each other. So I feel the logic of capitalised opportunities isn’t the accurate yardstick to measure them by.

              Vettel has never had a really challenging teammate to push him in his wdc years, and when he did have a challenging teammate, he got thoroughly beaten.

              You could use kimi as a yardstick when comparing Vettel and Alonsos performance as well. Alonso decimated Kimi when racing alongside him, while vettel narrowly beat him this year and actually managed to get out qualified by him.

              The question of greats is easily answered years after a driver has retired, but as of now, I don’t see how anyone could label Vettel as a great and not put Alonso and Hamilton in the same or slightly higher category.

            6. @todfod Well i think that logic holds up pretty well– the 2010 and 2012 Ferraris were sometimes the cars to have during that season (which the df-watchamacallit-15 was exactly once) AND one crucial difference we tend to forget in recent days: they were not going up against ONE pacesetting car, but it was a constantly changing pecking order. And in those conditions those cars were surely capable of winning the wdc.
              Regarding Ricciardo vs vettel, i do believe vettel looked way worse than he was, with an awful lot not going his way (and maybe even him actually going for a performance clause?). And when he was beating ricciardo he often was bitten by strategy (a bit like kimi?)
              As for Kimi, i really love the guy and think he deserved to be triple champion and retiring after 07, but i don’t think he is any good as a yardstick, simply because ever since (at the latest) 2008 his performance was remarkably inconsistent. I do believe on his day he can still beat pretty much anyone on natural pace. its just those days have gotten rarer for years.

            7. @mrboerns.

              Quite possibly the most ridiculous rewriting of history I have seen.

              I have to guess you may be a supporter, or German or Dutch. Anything to knock the better guys and create a stawman.

              And anything but give credit to the talented.

              An example – 05 was not luck for Alonso. Neither was 06. And I wanted Shumi to win. They were great seasons and Shumi had very little less luck. Just a very worse car that even his talent could not overcome.
              Another – in 07 Lewis was ROOKIE and lost by 1 point because Ferrari swapped places in the final race. His team screwed that championship in China. He had nothing to do with it. Go and drive any slicks or canvas on a wet circuit and see for yourself.
              Further, Lewis did not have a WCC winning car in 08. The first to win a championship without such for 20 plus years, I might add.
              Oh, even more, only Alonso and Lewis have had real in their prime World Champions on their team. Anyone who thinks Vettel or indeed Alonso the last two years is running against in their prime champions needs help. At least Lewis did. One while a rookie. And best them bar one single year where he won more races and qualified ahead more times…?

              Vettel is a quick guy but when you realise he has never won a race from less than third place, had four years of an outstanding car and a weak team mate (look what happened when a feisty one turned up) and thinks he is in Alonso or Lewis type category.

              Well reveiw the Mexico radio summary from this year….

            8. @mrboerns

              I can’t stand it when people make the contract clause exit and state conspiracy theories for when Vettel got beat by Ricciardo.

              How would an ultra competitive person like Sebastian decide to actually lose to his teammate consistently to get out of a team? It sounds ridiculous

              Kimi is the most accurate way of measuring Vettel vs Alonso. I have no idea how you claim the Ferrari of 2010 to be ‘the’ car to have that season when it was quicker than the Red Bull at only 2 or maximum 3 circuits the entire year.

            9. @todfod
              Yeah i actually only heard about the whole contract-theory a few weeks ago… somehow intriguing :-) but i think mostly it was a year were things just never came together for vettel.
              As to the 2010 ferrari, well as a (presumably?) Alonso fan you should know just as well as me (a kimi fan) that the quickest car isn’t everything to winning a wdc, right? ;-)

      2. Hamilton/Sainz 2017 does have a nice ring to it😏

        But seriously, I’ve really been impressed with Sainz’ track record, especially in comparison with Verstappen and Kvyat. In my opinion he’s better than both these guys, and easily the most underrated F1 driver at the moment. A move to Mercedes would be his moment to really shine – and definitely give Hamilton some robust competition.

        Santa Mercedes, make my wish come true, darn it! ☺

        1. Sainz is at worst as good as Verstappen.

          1. Exactly! And the only waves he makes are where it matters – on the track. He’d be a great fit with the Mercedes crew.

        2. Saintz would be a good choice. He deserved a top car although Verstappen outperformed him by a mile.

      3. It would be nice to see a Sainz – Hamilton pairing. But I can’t see it happening. Why on earth would RB want to let him go to their direct opponent? They did not put him in the junior programme to sell him…

        On a different note: If Merc actually does consider Sainz they make an absolute fool of their own young driver programme. Why do they contract young drivers if at the first unexpected opportunity the “buy” someone elses youngstar???

        1. Don’t put it beyond Mercedes to sidestep loyalty in recognition of talent. Remember they were sniffing around Verstappen in his pre-Toro Rosso days

    11. I just hope this keeps dragging out.

      Hasn’t been this much interest in forums for years.

      1. @dbradock
        Something that I’ve noticed is that everyone is talking far more about who is most likely to replace Rosberg’s seat everywhere on every F1 forum. Hardly anybody seems to be discussing the fact that Rosberg is the 2016 world champion. People seem far more interested about who will take his seat rather that his massive achievement. Even so, I’ve been doing the same so I shouldn’t be complaining! But it is true that this seems to be causing far more excitement than Rosberg winning his first ever championship.

        1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
          12th December 2016, 9:58

          Probably because he won it in the fastest car by a mile with a hobbled teammate.

          1. Same goes for Hamilton and his last 2 WDC’s really. I genuinely feel that whoever they put in that car will be scoring high points next season, assuming that the Merc isn’t as dominant as the last 3 seasons… If it is as dominant as the last 3 seasons then they will podium.

        2. @thegianthogweed, perhaps part of it is the fact that, since there was a strong expectation from reasonably early on in the season that Rosberg was going to win the title, it was rather anti-climactic when he did win – both the fans and the pundits had already said much of what there was to say in the months building up to the finale, leaving a sense of emptiness when it did happen.

          Equally, I think that Rosberg is actively avoiding the media speculation and is, if anything, probably quite happy not to be the centre of attention. Nico has only made a few public appearances since Abu Dhabi, and mostly only when he absolutely had to go to, such as the FIA Gala Dinner (to receive the WDC trophy) and events run by Mercedes.

          When he does appear, most of his recent interviews have revolved around his decision to quit the sport and the emotions of his personal life, with the talk of his title seeming almost a little sterile by comparison. Rosberg himself has perhaps come across as a little emotionally detached from his achievement, and the way that he has walked away from the sport makes it look as if what most would regard as a great achievement meant nothing to him – that seeming lack of passion seems to have resulted in similar apathy amongst the press, as if they’ve gone “Well, if you don’t seem to care, why should we?”.

    12. Perhaps I’m in a minority, but I really don’t think Bottas would just be a safe, pliable No. 2 for Hamilton.

      He seems to have the same problem that guys like Hulkenberg and Vettel (and others, but those two are the most obvious, I think) have – his head drops a touch when he feels his career isn’t heading in the right direction and his performances dip as a result. Back in 2014 he was only in his second year, but his performances were often outstanding… the last two seasons he hasn’t been quite as eye-catching, but I think a lot of that is down to seeing podium opportunities slip further and further away as the team slides gradually back down the grid… and he’s had to put up with the disappointment of being repeatedly linked to decent drives (eg Ferrari) and never getting them.

      The talent everyone was raving about a few years ago is still there, he’s just missing a bit of motivation and that’s why he hasn’t totally blown Massa away for the last two years. I think if he does get the Mercedes drive, and with it the opportunity to fight at the front, there’s every chance he’ll be just as close to Hamilton as Rosberg (another driver underrated by many) was. Maybe closer.

      1. More like Williams has not had the resources / talent to build a car that is competitive. 2016 season must have been a disappointment for both Williams team and drivers.

        Selling Bottas to Merc shuould be a good deal for Williams also. Bottas has only one year deal and this is Williams’ opportunity to cash in. With 10M+ extra from Merc and the salary they have reserved for Bottas for 2017, they should be able to get a decent replacement. Should be a win-win for all.

      2. Totally agree. Bottas is a superb driver that is probably a bit fed up of being in the midfield. I think he’ll give Hamilton a serious challenge next year. With Toto as his manager things could continue to get frosty with Hamilton.

        I expect Hamilton to Ferrari, Vettel to join Bottas at Merc in 2018.

      3. Yup, same here. I’d love to see him there to see what he can do. Few drivers can be Hamilton’s equal over the course of a season I think, but I’ll put hard money down that Bottas can produce more wheel to wheel racing than Rosberg did. Then again, I’d also love to see Perez in a top car…

    13. Williams signing of Stroll has really shot themselves in the foot now Bottas is very likely off to the factory team. After all, they deserve it for going down the pay driver route.

      1. They can’t operate at a loss and F1 is expensive. How exactly do you propose they ensure they have the money to go racing? Williams is not a car company or sugar-drinks company that just happens to take part in F1, in case you didn’t know.

        1. They are a tech company though and make money on tech innovations and licensing.

          http://www.williamsf1.com/advanced-engineering

          “Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group. We provide world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, and manufacturing services to deliver energy efficient performance to the Automotive, Motorsport, Civil Aerospace, Defence, Sports Science and Energy Sectors. We specialise in Lightweight Materials, Hybrid Power Systems and Electronics, Advanced Aerodynamics, Vehicle Dynamics, and Holistic Integration Capabilities”

          1. In case you didn’t know.

        2. I’m sure Williams aren’t struggling in the same mould as your Manor’s & Sauber’s. Force India seem to manage on a lower budget and have tasted more success of late via investing in quality drivers. Williams could start by maybe improving their corporate/sponsorship image. Their car’s look like they just stuck on a couple of Martini and rexona/sure stickers.

      2. @mattybaz I’m no huge fan of the pay driver route either, but I understand it, but you are using the luxury of hindsight to claim Williams have shot themselves in the foot when they couldn’t possibly have foreseen having Bottas poached.

    14. Lol, Nico Rosbergson, now an actor… Certainly has the looks ..

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        12th December 2016, 8:34

        He’ll be good provided every line is “for sure”.

        1. well at least better then: “”honestly””

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        12th December 2016, 8:52

        Crossroads 2

        1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          12th December 2016, 12:24

          very good coldfly! lol

      3. Just a shame he has no personality, charisma, or screen presence.

        1. But was faster then Ham this year ;)

    15. I actually still think Mercedes will keep trying over and over again to get Bottas if it is clear that he is their top choice. They may well get there in the end. The BBC article does say this: “But Williams have rejected an initial offer to release Finn Bottas from his 2017 contract.” I don’t think that will be the final offer and I still think Bottas is the driver most likely to go there. If it isn’t him, I’m really not sure who it would be.

      1. The finnish media is saying Frank Williams is really good at cashing in on deals so I guess he’s just trying to get tho most out of it. Let’s hope Mercedes are truly serois about getting Bottas, money shouldn’t be a problem.

    16. “Williams have rejected an initial offer to release Finn Bottas”
      Initial offer. Probably just Mercedes saying “how about we give you this much?” and gauging Williams’ response to it to see how much they actually want.

      1. @hugh11
        This is pretty much what I said above. I don’t think they will give up on Bottas yet and I still think he is most likely to be the one taken.

    17. I honestly don’t know why people are underestimating Bottas, he would be a very tough opponent for Hamilton if he was chosen to take over Rosberg’s seat. He is quick, consistent and he is fairly unflappable under pressure. Just because he hasn’t had the media hype that has surrounded Verstappen or Vandoorne doesn’t mean he isn’t capable.

      1. I honestly don’t know why people are underestimating Bottas

        People underestimate Bottas because he’s barely beaten Massa in their 2 years together.

      2. Agreed. Underestimated.

        But he did beat Massa, an 11 time race winner. Each year.

        Just because he ain’t flashy does not mean he ain’t good.

    18. Very sarcastic choice of photo! He is probably furious now instead of smiling.

    19. Bottas possibly going to Mercedes is a great move for Valtteri,but Williams are going to be under pressure.The only “logical” option to partner Stroll,who is totally inexperienced and the data he provides might not be the best,is an experienced driver who know the team.Williams dont have the money to get Button from his McLaren contract,so,bring back Massa!

    20. Well Mercedes are the ones from all the sim/test data and it appears that they simply don’t rate Pascal very highly.

    21. Ever since Bottas came into F1, I assumed that he would eventually join Wolff at Mercedes. Now is the time!

    22. I really, really want to see Perez in that Merc and Wehrlein alongside Ocon. Williams should not give up Bottas because he would be a great leader and a helping hand to Stroll. Plus, he is quick, consistent and all round great. IMO Perez is quicker and should get the Mercedes seat. Force India would also be happy with the money they get for giving up Perez and as an added bonus they get Wehrlein.

      Perez vs Hamilton would be interesting too as long as Merc won’t use him as a Webber to Hamilton.

      No offense Mark, I love you man! ;)

    23. The BBC story and a few people on here have mentioned Sainz ending up at Merc or Williams. I cannot see this happening though as why in the world would Red Bull (or Torro Rosso) want to make life any easier for Mercedes. If Sainz went to Merc he might end up a real threat.

      I still think that Merc will end up with Wehrlein but there is obviously some reluctance.

    24. You can sign Alonso as Rosberg replacement and make sure you fill the TV screens with your cars next year…
      …But instead, you go for Bottas.

      Not what I would have done if I was investing this much in advertisement, in a show that desperately needs to captivate more audiences, but what do I know?..

      1. I’m with you there. I’ll assume that they have tried first and foremost to get FA but it may just not be possible from the sounds of it, as much as Toto and FA would like it to be so.

        I’m much less confident that Bottas will give LH a run for his money, but many here seem to think he will, and I think in fairness the Merc should be the best F1 car he will have ever driven, so it will be exciting to see what he does with it. Then there’s the question of whether Merc will even still be dominant. Dominant or not I fear for an LH runaway to the season, at least at Merc, at which point I agree with you and far fewer eyes will be on a much less potent rivalry. Here’s hoping Bottas (presumably) will be buoyed by the car and impress us. Otherwise my eyes will be on Max at RBR.

      2. Luis Rodrigues, you’re assuming that Alonso was a possible option in the first place – despite the flattering words from Wolff, it seems that there was very little likelihood that McLaren were ever going to release him from his contract.

        Why would McLaren want to release Alonso? They seemingly have nothing to gain, but an awful lot to lose, by letting him go to Mercedes.

    25. Signing Bottas will make the chief Hamilton very happy.
      He will have a rear gunner like Heiki and no competition (at least less than Nico).
      I guess he can’t “stand the heat” from a driver that would threaten his no. 1 status.
      Go get em Red Bull!!

      1. your forgetting one thing, Toto controls the team, and hes Bottas manager, hes one of the reasons why Williams did so well a couple years ago.

        Toto would have even more control over the team if his driver sat next to HAM. It’s comedy, Toto can’t help himself, like he couldn’t help himself at Williams.

        Lewis might be looking at more blowups in the future if Toto wants to cash in on someone who really never had the measure of Massa.

    26. 2017 Wehrlein to Mercedes 1 year contract. 2018 Ricciardo to Mercedes, Sainz to Red Bull.
      Not impossible is it?

    27. If Nico Rosberg is interested in actin movies, he go for as the next James Bond or he could start you in the Fast and the Furius series maybe a bad guy.

      1. Nico was always acting in F1, not much of a change actually.

    28. The problem with Ferrari is the same this year as it is every year.

      Sergio Marchionne.

      The problem is that Ferrari doesn’t incentivize their development team to be radical or take risks, because if they do anything other than “immediately win”, they publicly shame & then fire their development team, poisoning their future prospects at employment. So if you’re the lynchpin for a radical idea that doesn’t *immediately* work, then you’re likely to be strung up publicly and berated by leadership.

      Of course, NO truly radical ideas work out of the box, particularly in an F1 that has basically no testing periods. So you have a team that is scared to try new things – the best they can do is try to do a really good execution of a fairly conservative, consensus idea. I think having a really “personality-driven” leader of an engineering staff who brings so much cred that they can’t be ignored (like James Allison) counteracts this… somewhat. But unless you have an absolutely faultless record, you end up under Marchionne’s thumb, and at the risk for getting your head cut off at any moment.

      There’s no reason that anyone who wants to try something radical would go to Ferrari. The upside is minimal (reputation-wise), and the downside is enormous. Instead take your talents to a mid-range team (like Williams) where the upside is bigger, the potential gains to *your personal* reputation are higher, and the downsides are relatively small.

      This assumption that Ferrari = #1 is killing them. You can’t always win, and the best ideas aren’t always good at first. You need the ability to fail and to iterate, and to feel like it’s encouraged by the leadership to try risky things before you can do anything “radical” that is positive.

      Until Marchionne’s attitude changes, Ferrari will always be an extraordinarily well-funded mediocre team.

    29. if Mercedes gets Bottas then Williams should get Button; i think that would fit quite nicely.

    30. Rosberg already has an illustrious career in acting. He had the lead role in Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’. Seriously, maybe it’s just me, but from some angles, I swear he looks just like Gustav Fröhlich (but only in that movie…).

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