Mercedes AMG F1 team principal Toto Wolff believes that the Williams 2018 driver lineup should be more bold. The Grove team are currently mulling over the decision to choose a driver to partner Lance Stroll next season. Williams’ potential candidates has been narrowed down to Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin. The Russian, Sirotkin, has emerged as the firm favourite following the Abu Dhabi tyre test, where both tested for the team.
Wolff is a former shareholder in the team and recently sold his shares. He reckons that Williams should gamble on a rising star instead of chasing a driver with funding. However, he did admit that the team’s financial position wasn’t of much help.
Wolff’s take on the Williams 2018 Driver Lineup
He said, “If I were Williams today I would be bold and would put a George Russell or a Lando Norris in the car or a [Charles] Leclerc. One of these really bright talented kids who have won championships in the past to develop the next superstar. But having said that there is a financial reality they live in and they have to find the right compromise.”
Russell is a Mercedes junior driver and has been getting a few outings in the car. Norris is from the McLaren Young Drivers’ Programme and Leclerc is a Ferrari Academy driver.
Happy with his own lineup
Meanwhile Wolff believes that the current Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas is perfect. But despite that, he is keeping a watchful eye out for any developments in the driver market. He continued, “In so far as I would like the pairing to continue, we are committed to both of them in 2018, but having said that 2019 is a very exciting new year. There are young drivers that will have gained more experience and some of the very good ones like Daniel [Ricciardo] become free. What we want to see is how the first third of the season pans out, whether our car is good enough and strong enough. This is what we are actually concentrating on and then we will analyse and then take the right decisions hopefully.”
Who will be the ideal driver to complete the Williams 2018 driver lineup?