Mercedes chief Toto Wolff believes Williams should be bold when choosing a team mate to partner Lance Stroll for the 2018 campaign.
Wolff previously owned a 16.3 per cent stake in Williams before eventually opting to move to buy a larger stake with Mercedes, who are priced at 1.70 to win the 2018 Constructors Championship.
The Austrian still has a close relationship with Williams and keeps a close eye on their situation from season to season.
Williams are currently looking to find a replacement for Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa following his retirement at the end of 2017.
The Grove outfit are not set to make an announcement on their new driver until the New Year but that hasn’t stopped a number of names being linked with the role.
Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin is understood to be the favourite with reports claiming that Williams just need to finalise the financial side of the deal.
Wolff has urged Williams to be brave with their selection and feels the likes of George Russell, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc deserve a chance to prove themselves, although Williams are required to have at least one driver over the age of 25 due to their sponsorship deal with Martini, which would rule the trio out of contention.
“If I were Williams today I would be bold and would put a George Russell or a Lando Norris in the car or Leclerc… one of these really bright talented kids who have won championships in the past to develop the next superstar,” Wolff said.
“But having said that there is a financial reality they live in and they have to find the right compromise.”