Wolff urges Williams to be bold in driver choice

25/12/2017
NEWS STORY

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, who at one stage owned a 16.3% stake in Williams before heading to the German team where he bought a 30% share, believes his former team should take a gamble in choosing a teammate for Lance Stroll next season.

While the Grove outfit will not be making an announcement on its driver line-up until the new year, it is now believed that Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin leads the way, with merely the details of the financial package he must bring with him to be agreed.

While this is bad news for the likes of Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta and Pascal Wehrlein, Wolff believes the Grove team - which gave an almost unknown Jenson Button his big break in 2000 - should have once again plumped for an upcoming youngster.

"If I were Williams today I would be bold and would put a George Russell or a Lando Norris in the car or Leclerc… one of these really bright talented kids who have won championships in the past to develop the next superstar," the Austrian told BBC Sport.

"But having said that there is a financial reality they live in and they have to find the right compromise."

Indeed. However, ignoring the "financial reality", there is also the fact that the terms of Williams deal with title sponsor Martini are that at least one of the drivers must 25 or older, which would rule out all three drivers Wolff has suggested.

Furthermore, if Wolff is so convinced Williams should "develop the next superstar", why doesn't Mercedes take a similar lead?

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Published: 25/12/2017
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