Current Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has been approached by Renault with a ‘concrete’ offer to drive for them in 2017, according to the Danish newspaper BT.
“I know for sure that he has offers from both Williams and Renault at the moment,” Finnish TV Formula One commentator told BT this weekend, although he admitted that he had no official confirmation at the current time.
“It is impossible to get a comment from those involved – especially the drivers at this time of year. Valtteri says nothing, as I understand it.”
Other sources have suggested that even if he were inclined to switch to Renault next year, Williams may still have an option on Bottas’ services for another season. If that’s the case, the team is thought likely chose to pick up the option up and retain the 26-year-old Finn for what would be his fifth consecutive season with Williams.
However Williams have also been reported to be looking at other options to replace either Bottas or his current team mate Felipe Massa next season. Among those connected with a seat at Grove next season include Jenson Button, Alex Lynn, Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr.
Coincidentally Perez has also been linked with a seat at Renault, despite his current boss Dr Vijay Mallya publicly announcing that the Mexican driver would stay with Force India next season.
Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has been quoted as saying that he’s seeking a “charismatic’ driver to lead next year’s Renault line-up, and it’s not clear which of his current drivers – Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer – he is seeking to replace.
One leading candidate for a race seat at Renault is the team’s current reserve driver Esteban Ocon, but supporters of Sergei Sirotkin also remain hopeful that the Russian drivers might fine a place at Enstone next season.
“Sergey could get a chance in the team,” Sirotkins father Oleg told Russian media Sport FM this week. The Russian market is very important for Renault, and the presence of a Russian running, I think, will be truly important for them.”
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