Formula 1

Bottas ready for 'long career' with Williams

Valtteri Bottas says he is striving for his third driver role with Williams to blossom into a 'long career' racing for the former champion team.

 
Bottas ready for Williams - Formula 1Reuters
 

The GP3 champion has been a Williams test driver since 2010, and this year is driving in place of Bruno Senna in most Friday practice sessions, impressing with his performances so far.

Asked by AUTOSPORT if he was aiming to stay at Williams or was looking for a race seat elsewhere, Bottas said his goal was to not just make his Formula 1 racing debut with the Grove team, but to become a major part of its story.

"That would be ideal. I really enjoy working with these people and Frank [Williams] is pushing hard," he said.

"It's a team with a great history and it's already my third year with the team and I feel like it's home here so the ideal would be to stay here and I would hope for a long career with Williams."

Both Williams's current race drivers Pastor Maldonado and Senna bring some sponsor backing to the team, and Bottas admitted he was working on finding his own funding to boost his chances of a race seat.

"The ideal would be to be get in because a team knows you are fast and they want to hire you," he said.

"But the way the sport is going now, for sure it helps if you have some financial backing and of course we are pushing for that because it's a bonus for the team and it also makes your chances higher in the driver market."

The 22-year-old remains open-minded about his prospects of a 2013 race seat.

"It's difficult to say about my chances, I really don't know," he said.

"I think it's too early to speak about it. We're only halfway through the season and there's plenty of time for the teams to decide. I really cannot say anything is impossible."

Bottas has said that he does not want to go more than one season without racing, and reckoned if he was not on the F1 grid in 2013, combining a third-driver role with a Formula Renault 3.5 programme was probably his best option.

"I think there are only two options for my situation and that would be GP2 or the Renault World Series. I think those are the two most competitive championships and they're also quite quick cars," he said.

"I think doing GP2, you are not allowed to do Fridays [in F1] so that is one reason why we didn't do it this year. World Series is definitely a good option."

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