Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams says an announcement about Valtteri Bottas' future is likely to be made in the coming week.
Bottas is expected to move from Williams to Mercedes in order to fill the vacant seat left by reigning champion Nico Rosberg, who announced his retirement at the end of 2016. Williams has been seeking substantial remuneration in return for releasing Bottas from his 2017 contract, and it looks as though a deal will be confirmed in the next week.
"It has been dragging on and I think everyone wants to know, probably more who is going to be Lewis [Hamilton's] team-mate next year, and of course whenever Nico made his announcement we knew the call was probably going to come from Toto [Wolff, Mercedes team boss]," Williams told Sky Sports. "It is a great opportunity for Valtteri and he has given a lot to Williams. We've always said if we can make this happen on terms that are positive for Williams then it is probably the right thing to do.
"No-one needs or wants a driver in your team that really wants to be somewhere else. It is not nice either to stop a driver who has such a great opportunity, particularly at this point of Valtteri's career, but it has to work for Williams and that is what we've been working hard on over the past six weeks. We are nearly there, we are at the tail end of it and hopefully we'll be able to make an announcement this coming week.
"But it has to be right for Williams, whatever we do will always be the right decision for Williams no matter what other people's opinions might be."
Brazilian Felipe Massa is ready to postpone his retirement in order to fill the gap left by Bottas and complete the team's 2017 line-up alongside rookie Lance Stroll. Despite the complete u-turn on his retirement plans, Williams has no doubt that Massa is fully motivated for 2017.
"Felipe's heart has always been in our sport," she added. "Everyone said that about him when he joined us, 'surely his time in F1 is over, he petered out at the end of his years at Ferrari', but he came to Williams and it seemed to be a great culture for him and he was a new driver.
"I don't think he necessarily wanted to leave the sport and he did say he wanted to continue racing. These guys have been racing since they were six years old and it is in their DNA, that is what they do.