Martin Brundle: Bottas' experience crucial for Williams

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With speculation mounting that Mercedes is upping its efforts to convince Williams to free Valtteri Bottas, Sky's Martin Brundle says the Grove outfit crucially needs to hold on to the Finn.

As Formula 1 ushers in a new technical era in 2017, with major changes in the tyre and aerodynamic departments, a driver's experience will obviously represent a valuable asset.

If Williams gives in to Mercedes' intent to secure the services of Bottas, the team would most probably be left with an inexperienced driver pairing which would prove detrimental.

"Next year is going to be one of massive development and new aerodynamic regulations that seem almost endless in opportunity," Brundle told Sky Sports.

"You need a fully-experienced driver, and ideally two of them, to max out every weekend. We are probably going to see the biggest amount of car development we've ever seen from the big teams.

"That is why they'd prefer to have a driver like Bottas who is going to give more feedback. But, of course, Williams need that even more because Stroll is a complete rookie."

Indeed, despite a high level of preparation and impressive credentials acquire in the junior formulae, Stroll remains an unknown quantity in terms of relative performance.

"We don't know how he is going to go yet. He hasn't done GP2, he's not really been doing too much on these Pirelli tyres, so Williams need to keep hold of Bottas.

"I can't see any other option in the end than Mercedes putting Wehrlein in the car."

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