Only top driver could replace Rosberg – Head

Mon, 3 December 2007, 11:12

Williams would only contemplate letting Nico Rosberg go if the British team could secure a top-class replacement, co-owner Patrick Head has said.

It is widely known that the 22-year-old German sits atop McLaren’s wish list to fill the departed Fernando Alonso’s seat in 2008, but Rosberg is firmly under contract for next year to the Oxfordshire based team run by Sir Frank Williams.

Head, Williams’ engineering veteran and also the team’s joint owner, says the Grove outfit needs a driver of Rosberg’s calibre to steer its return to the front of the field.

“I don’t think it would be the death of the team if Nico left,” Head, 62, told the American sports network ESPN, “but as a competitive force, until we found somebody who could replace Nico, it would certainly be very difficult.”

It has been reported that Ron Dennis is prepared to pay as much as $20 million for Rosberg’s 2008 contract, but so far Williams has resisted the temptation to let him go.

“And obviously it wouldn’t give the right message to people inside our team either, in terms of people that we have put in significant positions, if we didn’t have a driver whom they felt could make good use of the work they are doing,” Head continued.

“So it (letting Rosberg go) is something that neither Frank nor myself are even contemplating,” he added.

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