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Monday 12 December at 09:35
Williams not commenting on Bottas reports
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Monday 12 December at 09:35 : Dec.12 (GMM) Williams is not commenting on reports it rejected an initial offer from Mercedes to buy out Valtteri Bottas' 2017 contract.

As Mercedes looks to replace Nico Rosberg, Finn Bottas - managed by team boss Toto Wolff but under firm contract to Williams - has been named as a top contender.

But Britain's Sun newspaper said Williams rejected "an initial approach" by Mercedes to slash in half the price of the Grove team's 2017 customer engine bill.

Williams, however, seems determined to hang onto the experienced Bottas.

"Losing Bottas would be a disaster for Williams," German language pundit Marc Surer told Speed Week.

"Williams has compromised already to finance the team by signing Lance Stroll," he said.

When contacted by the Daily Mail, Williams refused to comment on the Bottas rumours.

Another reported candidate for the Rosberg seat is Toro Rosso star Carlos Sainz, but the Spanish newspaper AS reported: "According to our sources, Red Bull is not willing to let him go."

And former team boss Gian Carlo Minardi told his website: "Despite the denial of his manager, I still see Fernando Alonso in pole position."
RELATED NEWS ITEMS
19-06 Rumour - Williams key to McLaren-Honda split?
13-06 Father, Williams say Stroll deserves F1 seat
12-06 Stroll 'worst F1 rookie ever' - Villeneuve
11-06 Struggling Stroll 'will find solution' - Ocon
08-06 Stroll needs 'time and patience' - Bottas
07-06 Stroll struggles no surprise - Grosjean
06-06 Don't assess Stroll until 2018 - Stewart
 
NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
TV schedule
Friday - practice 1
12:30 - 14:00

Friday - practice 2
16:30 - 18:00

Saturday - practice 3
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Saturday - qualification
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Sunday - race
16:00

Friday - practice 1

Friday - practice 2

Saturday - practice 3

Saturday - qualification

Sunday - race

STANDINGS 2016
Driver championship
1.Vettel141
2.Hamilton129
3.Bottas93
Constructors championship
1.Mercedes222
2.Ferrari214
3.Red Bull112
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