Williams will opt for experience if Rosberg leaves

Williams have said that they will choose experience over promise if they are forced to recruit drivers next season. The British team may well lose Nico Rosberg, who has said that he wants to be in a race-winning position sooner rather than later, and will have to look at their options.

But director of engineering and co-founder Patrick Head moved to quell speculation that Rosberg’s seat would automatically go to test driver Nico Hulkenberg, currently F3 Euro Series Champion, because he is too inexperienced.

“I think he had the wrath of [team boss] Sam Michael’s tongue a couple of times,” Head admitted to Autosport. “Both last year and this year he’s driven our new car first on the first day, and in both cases I think after a very short amount of running he ended up in the gravel trap when all one is actually trying to do is sort out systems, gather data and things like that.

“So that hasn’t been particularly clever.”

Head’s typically forthright words are underpinned by a conviction that his team will need experience and hard graft to get them back to the top of the sport, rather than unrefined pace. Rosberg is now a team leader and has impressed with his performances at the team both this season and last, but took a few seasons to get to that point.