With 2011 hopeful Pastor Maldonado
and F2 champion Dean Stoneman already inked in for the Williams
seats at this month's 'young drivers' test in Abu Dhabi, the Grove team's regular development driver has been linked to a possible role elsewhere.
Already confirmed in his role for a second season, Valtteri Bottas has emerged as a contender to join Hispania Racing in Abu Dhabi after the paddock grapevine linked the two ahead of this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Bottas finished only third in this year's F3 Euroseries, despite driving for the crack ART Grand Prix team, but claimed a second successive Masters title at Zandvoort - becoming the first driver to repeat as event winner - before finally opening his victory account in the season-long competition. However, with HRT having signed a technical partnership deal to use Williams-developed transmission systems, the Finn has been touted as a candidate to join the struggling Spanish outfit
HRT team principal Colin Kolles would only admit that the squad was 'now making decisions who will test our car in Abu Dhabi,', while Williams
co-owner Patrick Head told Reuters
that he was not aware of any link between the technical partnership and the use of Bottas' services.
"I think Valtteri is a very talented driver, but maybe there is also some other driver who will be driving our car," he said.
HRT has used four drivers this season, with Bruno Senna being joined by Karun Chandhok, Sakon Yamamoto
and Christian Klien
as the team struggled for sponsorship, but the arrival of former Telefonica president Juan Villalonga has added confidence that it may be a more competitive proposition in 2011.