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Valtteri Bottas aiming to make the most of his opportunity with Williams

Bottas looks ahead to his debut season in Formula 1 in 2013

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29 November 2012 - 08:12
Valtteri Bottas aiming to make the (...)

Valtteri Bottas is aiming to make the most of his opportunity with Williams next season, after the Finn was confirmed alongside Pastor Maldonado as the replacement for Bruno Senna. After partaking in fifteen practice sessions throughout the 2012 season, Bottas is confident he can excel in 2013.

The 23-year-old Finn joined Williams as the team’s reserve driver in 2010, a season before he clinched the GP3 Championship. Instead of progressing up the conventional motor sport ladder to the likes of GP2 or World Series by Renault for 2012, Valtteri Bottas spent the season out of of regular racing to focus solely on his role as the Williams reserve driver. This benefitted the Finn greatly, who replaced Bruno Senna fifteen times throughout the season during the opening practice session of the weekend.

Valtteri Bottas is understandably thrilled after receiving “promotion” within the Williams outfit, which is a dream come true for the Finn. Bottas started karting at the age of six, and has progressed from there to become Finland’s ninth Formula 1 driver, and only the second to race for Williams since Keke Rosberg.

“It feels incredible to be driving in Formula One next season and to be with a team like Williams, with all its pedigree, is even more special.” Explained Valtteri Bottas, “I’ve worked hard to get here ever since I started karting at six years old, but the real work starts now as I prepare myself for the biggest challenge of my career. The fact that I’ve been with Williams since 2010 will help a lot though because I know the engineers really well and have a good working relationship with them.”

With Valtteri Bottas set to return to a full-time drive next season, after a year as the Williams reserve driver, the Finn is simply aiming to make the most out of his debut season with the outfit. With Pastor Maldonado aiming for regular point finishes and podium appearances, Valtteri Bottas simply wants to look back upon his debut season and feel that he has improved as a driver.

“It’s difficult to set objectives before the season starts, so I’m just trying to make the most of this opportunity to prove the team has been right to promote me to a race seat.” Continued Valtteri Bottas, “I want to look back on 2013 and feel that I’ve improved as a driver and helped the team improve its performance on the track.”

Throughout the 2012 season, Valtteri Bottas replaced Bruno Senna during fifteen Friday practice sessions, gaining valuable track knowledge at venues such as Sepang, Shanghai, Suzuka and Abu Dhabi, circuits which GP3 do not visit during their seasons. This means Bottas will only have several venues to learn during his debut season, with the Finn visiting all but one of the European circuits with GP3 in 2011.

“This [his participation in fifteen practice sessions] will be a big help as it means there are only a handful of circuits on the 2013 calendar that I have never driven, in Australia, Monaco, Valencia, Austin and Singapore.” Said Valtteri Bottas, “There will still be a lot of work to do but it means that I do have some knowledge to work from heading to most races next season.”

Along with Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, Valtteri Bottas will be the first former GP3 driver to start an official Formula 1 race next March when the lights go out at the start of the Australian Grand Prix. The Finn is already well established within the Williams outfit, and will be looking to build upon this throughout his debut season. If Williams start 2013 in a similar fashion to 2012, then both Maldonado and Bottas could be in for a very competitive 2013 season.

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