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Symonds: Bottas is progressing well…

Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says Valtteri Bottas is approaching his peak in terms of driver performance and expects the Finn to continue in 2017.
Williams chief technical officer Pat Symonds says Valtteri Bottas is approaching his peak in terms of driver performance and is expecting the Finn to continue his upward trend in 2017.

Despite Williams' frustration in 2016 having slipped to fifth in the F1 world constructors' championship, Symonds says both Bottas and Felipe Massa were shining lights this season and a pleasure to work with.

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With Massa retiring from F1 at the end of the year, Williams sees Bottas as its lead driver for 2017 having signed FIA European Formula 3 champion Lance Stroll for his rookie campaign.

After the shock retirement of F1 world champion Nico Rosberg, Bottas was instantly added to the shortlist of potential replacements and in recent days has become a front-runner which led to Williams reportedly rejecting requests from Mercedes about the Finn.

Speaking before Rosberg's retirement, Symonds says after a rocky debut year in F1 when Williams' car performance let down Bottas, he has seen a remarkable rise in the driver's performance which he believes can continue to spike in 2017.

“I think the learning process is continuing well,” Symonds said. In my mind 2013 wasn't his first year in F1, it was a dreadful year and I think we had to do a reset and start him off again in 2014.

“So, his third year he has now got to a good level and can be confident for next year with him performing strongly at every race. He has done a good job this year, I am very pleased with him.”

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Bottas joined the Williams ranks back in 2010 as a test driver while in Euro F3 before going on to win the GP3 Series title in 2011.

After a year out of racing as Williams third and reserve driver, Bottas made his F1 race debut in 2013 and has gone on to notch up nine rostrum results in 78 F1 Grand Prixs.



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Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
30.04.2017 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
30.04.2017 - Race, Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32 and Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
30.04.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
30.04.2017 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, 1st place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08, 2nd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H with Vladmir Putin (RUS) Russian President and Dmitry Kozak (RUS) Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
30.04.2017 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08

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Taz

December 14, 2016 9:21 PM

ProfessorDave: Bottas 'progress' in past three years .... 2014 - 186 points, 2015 - 136 points, 2016 - 85 points.
I have to pick some holes in your analysis, that charts Williams decline since the start of the hybrid era, having a slippery car but with poor mechanical grip and a lack of downforce but an engine with a huge speed advantage been whittled down over the last three years. mechanical grip issues have plagued Williams for years. Symonds is just saying nice things but expecting Bottas to go.



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