Williams has yet to announce Lance Stroll's team mate for next season, but Sergey Sirotkin is now rumored to be the favourite to land the coveted drive.
Williams ran Sirotkin at the post-race Abu Dhabi tyre test and added the 22-year-old Russian as a contender for its remaining seat, along with Robert Kubica, Paul di Resta, Pascal Wehrlein and Dany Kvyat.
But reports are sifting through that based on the analysis of his performance with Williams at the Abu Dhabi test, the Grove-based outfit has entered into advanced talks with Sirotkin.
Another compelling argument however in favour of the young charger's hiring is the lavish financial backing he enjoys thanks to SMP, a Russian financial institution owned by oligarchs Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, which has attached $15 million worth of sponsorship to Sirotkin, according to Le Journal de Montreal.
Robert Kubica is believed to have been ruled out by Williams, as well as Paul di Resta. Should a deal with Sirotkin fall through, the team's most likely back-up would be Daniil Kvyat.
Williams previously said it hopes to announce its 2018 driver line-up by Christmas.