Wolff: Williams should be 'bold' on driver choice
23 December 2017 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Williams should be "bold" with its 2018 driver choice and choose another young driver to partner Lance Stroll next season.
Williams has been evaluating its choices to replace the retired Felipe Massa next year, and has assessed both Robert Kubica and Sergey Sirotkin in current-spec machinery.
Wolff, who was a shareholder and senior figure at Williams before moving to Mercedes, reckons the Grove-based operation should pick youth, but is also aware of financial requirements.
"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," Wolff explained to the BBC.
"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."
Mercedes' own driver line-up into 2019 remains uncertain, though Wolff commented that he expects Lewis Hamilton to stay, with contract negotiations already underway.
Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, is only on a one-year extension, having joined from Williams in the wake of Nico Rosberg's retirement, and Wolff expanded on Mercedes' mindset heading into 2018.
"We have realised that the positive dynamics we had between Valtteri and Lewis in a difficult season like we had in 2017, was an asset," Wolff commented.
"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.
"And 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."