31 July 2012
Bottas: For sure, I would like to race next year
Williams reserve Valtteri Bottas has confirmed that he is hoping to join fellow Finns Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen on the grid in 2013.
Valtteri Bottas is making secret of his desire to move from reserve driver to a full F1 race role next season, and admits that he would be happy to make his grand prix debut with the Williams team.
The Finn, the reigning GP3 Series champion, has focused on learning the ropes in the top flight this season, eschewing the chance to race in either GP2 or the World Series by Renault to make the most of Friday morning track time at the majority of grands prix. That opportunity is coming exclusively at the expense of Bruno Senna and, despite the Brazilian's superior finishing record in the team this season - he currently leads partner Pastor Maldonado 6-2 in terms of top ten results - it is his seat that Bottas has been connected to for 2013.
"I'm improving every session, and I didn't expect to be on the pace so quickly," he told GPWeek, "It's good that I can match [Maldonado] - and sometimes beat him - and there's a lot more to come if I get to drive more.
"For sure, I would like to race next year - I've raced all my life basically - [but] now is the time to learn and, hopefully, races come at some point. It's what I'm pushing for."
With both Maldonado and, to a lesser extent, Senna relying on sponsorship for their drives, Bottas knows that he needs to add that weapon to his armoury, but insists that he would be happy to remain at Williams for his graduation to a race seat.
"I really enjoy working with these people," he explained, "I feel at home here, [so] the ideal would be to stay here. I hope for a long career with Williams. It helps, [however], if you have some backing, and, of course, we're pushing for that."
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