Valtteri Bottas says persistent speculation over whether he would be joining Ferrari in 2016 proved an 'unnecessary' distraction, claiming many of the rumours linking him to the drive were 'not true at all'.
The Finn was said to be in talks to join Ferrari next season in place of countryman Kimi Raikkonen, only for the Italian team to confirm it has re-signed the 2007 champion for another season.
Discussing the decision in the aftermath, Bottas plays down the notion that his management was ever in deep talks with Ferrari, saying many of the rumours linking him to the drive – including the signing of a pre-contract – weren't correct.
Furthermore, Bottas – who is fourth in the standings heading into the second-half of the 2015 season - also says the speculation had the potential to harm his relationship with Williams.
“I think it is now easier for me, for Williams, for Kimi, for Ferrari,” he said. “Now there are no rumours, only facts and I think this proves a lot of the rumours were not true at all… but this is F1.
“At some point, people wrote that I have done a pre-contract, which is not at all true. What can you believe then? Of course, you need to look at what is available but now they have made the decision and it is very clear for everyone what the situation is. For me it doesn't change anything.
“It has been unnecessary because most of it has not been true. It doesn't do any good, for example, mine and the team's relationship, so it is not fair for us those kind of rumours, or Kimi or Ferrari.”
Looking forward, Bottas says negotiations with Williams to extend his contract in 2016 is ongoing, but says he has nothing to report for the time being.
“I have a contract for this year but for next year we are still discussing it. There is no confirmation of that. As a driver you do want to know as early as you can about next year. It would be nice to know but we need to wait and see. There is no rush.”