Valtteri Bottas a free agent for 2016 but denies signing Ferrari deal
Williams driver scoffs at claims he has already signed a deal to replace Raikkonen
By James Galloway and Pete Gill in Barcelona
Last Updated: 07/05/15 6:03pm
Valtteri Bottas has rubbished claims he has signed a pre-contract agreement with Ferrari for 2016 – but confirmed his current deal with Williams expires at the end of this year.
The Finn is widely considered to be one of the hottest talents in the sport and has been touted as a potential successor to Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari.
The 2007 world champion’s existing two-year deal with the Scuderia expires in November and the team are in no rush to offer the veteran an extension.
But Bottas has laughed off media reports that he has already reached an understanding with Ferrari about a transfer.
“I saw some of the stories and sometimes they are quite funny to hear about because l know what the case is and what isn’t,” he told reporters in Barcelona ahead of this weekend’s Spanish GP.
“There are a lot of people making up stuff. The fact is at the moment l am just focusing this season and getting the maximum for us at the team. The rest, I don’t know yet.”
However, Bottas did confirm that he is a free agent for 2016.
“I don’t have anything for next year,” he disclosed.
“But I’m not really thinking about it, it’s for my management. Personally, all l can do is focus on this moment and this season. That’s the best thing for my future as well. I’m not thinking about any move at the moment.”
After a breakthrough campaign in 2014, when Bottas secured his first podium finishes and cemented his reputation as a major talent at the pinnacle of motorsport, Williams are currently effectively operating in a league of their own as the third-fastest team behind runaway leaders Mercedes and Ferrari but with a significant advantage ahead of Red Bull and Lotus.
Bottas will sit out Friday morning’s practice one session when Susie Wolff will be given another opportunity to impress. The Spanish GP traditionally hosts a raft of new upgrades on the cars ahead of the European leg of the season, but while the FW37 will be armed with a series of tweaks this weekend, Bottas says Williams intend to introduce their new components in piecemeal fashion over the next few races.