Williams evaluating its options for 2017 F1 driver line-up

© Getty Images

Williams Martini Racing is continuing to evaluate its options for its Formula 1 driver line-up for 2017, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams.

Williams has fielded Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas since 2014, the duo taking the team to third place in the constructors’ championship in both of their two seasons together.

Bottas had been linked with a move away from Williams for 2017, tipped as a possible suitor for Kimi Raikkonen’s seat at Ferrari should the Finn be released.

However, with Ferrari confirming on Friday that Raikkonen would be staying on for next season, the driver market is slowly coming into place for next season.

Williams will not be making a decision regarding its line-up in the coming weeks, though, as it continues to consider its options.

“We are evaluating our options,” Claire Williams said in Friday’s FIA press conference.

“We still feel it’s quite early in the year to be making our decision.

“We have some performance issues at the moment so we really need Valtteri and Felipe to be concentrating on their track performance rather than worrying about what’s happening in 2017.

“As you’d expect those conversations are going on behind closed doors and when we’re ready to make an announcement we will, but I don’t foresee that being the next few races.”

Williams previously admitted that McLaren’s Jenson Button would be an “attractive” option for the team should he be available, while test driver Alex Lynn remains keen to make the step up to F1 in the near future.