Valtteri Bottas has opened the door for a move away from Williams in 2016
Finn says he wants “to be in the quickest car available"
By William Esler
Last Updated: 05/02/15 2:34pm
Valtteri Bottas has opened the door for a move away from Williams stating he wants “to be in the quickest car available" in 2016.
The former GP3 champion was signed by Williams in 2010 and graduated to a race seat in 2013, qualifying a remarkable third at the Canadian Grand Prix in a car which only finished ahead of Marussia and Caterham in the constructors’ championship.
Bottas was described by Sir Frank Williams as "quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across," ahead of his debut with his team and the veteran team owner is a very well-qualified judge, of course, having launched the F1 careers of race winners Juan Pablo-Montoya, David Coulthard and Nico Rosberg along with world champions Jacques Villeneuve and Damon Hill.
But despite getting his break with Williams, Bottas gave a coy response when asked if he would be replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2016.
“I don’t know anything about Kimi’s contract,” Bottas told the official Formula 1 website. “All I know is that I want to be in the quickest car available. That’s all I can say.
“I don’t know if there is (interest). Maybe this is a question for my management…”
Bottas finished the 2014 season a podium in Abu Dhabi and he is hoping he can kick off the new campaign in similar style, having had to wait until Austria to take home his first silverware last year.
“The car is pretty similar, but a bit improved,” he added.
“It is hard to say where that puts us compared to the others – how much they have improved over the winter – so the first couple of races will show a clearer picture. My gut feeling is that it’s going to be a good year. I am pretty upbeat because I see that they are making the right calls in this team.
“If we could start the season at the level we finished last year that would be really good. I know that we are capable of still improving a lot, so if we could start at a good level I would be happy at the beginning of the season to fight for podiums – and then later on challenge for wins.”
Third-place in the constructors’ championship last year represented Williams’ best result since 2003, while Bottas’ podium at the Red Bull Ring was their first since Pastor Maldonado won the Spanish GP in 2012.
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