Valtteri Bottas has been backed as a future World Champion despite the tough start to his F1 career.
The highly-rated Finn has yet to score after five races as Williams struggles to exploit the potential of the FW35, with a best finish of eleventh place in Malaysia.
Despite his failure to trouble the scorers, Bottas has finished ahead of team-mate Pastor Maldonado three times and has finished each of the five races – with the team confident that he can deliver championship honours if given the right car.
“He is so great,” deputy team principal Claire Williams told the official F1 website when asked about the 23-year-old. “Cool and calm. He is a typical Finn.
“I think we definitely have a future world champion at hand - but of course we have to give him the car to allow him to prove his talent. He has done a good job so far. He has finished every race, made up positions with great overtaking manoeuvres, and is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”
As well as backing Bottas for success in the future, Williams also said she was confident that Maldonado would be able to help the team move forwards from its current poor position.
“We are a team and we work very hard in proving that,” she said. “We win and lose together. Of course Pastor is not too happy with the car we are giving him, but relationship, the bond, is very strong - actually with both our drivers. It is a good atmosphere in the team and there's a strong drive to solve our problems together and Pastor wants to be a part of the solution.
“Of course Pastor has expectations. He has tasted winning and of course wants more of it. I think it must be frustrating to see your peers winning and not having the equipment to demonstrate your talents. Pastor knows that we are fighting and that one day we will give him the car that he wants.”