With Valtteri Bottas strongly linked with Mercedes as Nico Rosberg’s replacement, Williams tech boss Pat Symonds explained that it will not be ideal if the Finn had to depart.
If Bottas leaves, it would leave Williams with rookie driver Lance Stroll, who has no experience in Formula 1.
Symonds added that with Felipe Massa retiring, a completely new drivers’ line-up going into a season is not ideal, explaining that you need at least one driver who has raced with the team before.
“We will have Lance Stroll as a rookie with no experience in F1,” Symonds told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Keeping Bottas will be crucial. Losing him would have a heavy impact on the team.
“People often underestimate the importance of continuity in a team. The driver is the final element needed between the engineers and the data.
“You can replace one with another, but you need to have a reference point. This will be especially true in a season in which they change the rules.”