Bottas: Keen and ready for Williams race seat
18 September, 2012
Sep.18 (GMM) Williams reserve and regular Friday practice driver Valtteri Bottas has acknowledged that he is very keen to end his reserve duties and join the Formula One grid as soon as possible.
The Finn, who is managed by Williams’ executive director Toto Wolff as well as Mika Hakkinen, usually replaces Bruno Senna on Friday mornings, and is tipped to step into the seat full-time next season.
Asked if he is ready for that, 22-year-old Bottas told Russia’s f1news.ru: “Yes, I hope so, but at the moment the situation remains unchanged.
“I will do the Friday sessions, except in Singapore and Austin. As for a contract for next year, I don’t know – it’s a fact,” Bottas insisted.
“But this season has taught me a lot, and I feel ready now. If I am offered the opportunity, I will of course take advantage of it. I think at some stage you just have to go for it, whether you are 90 or 100 per cent ready,” he added.
Bottas agreed that he has been in a privileged situation in 2012, having enjoyed plenty of mileage in the FW34 despite F1′s tightly-controlled testing limits.
“It’s really the most a young driver can expect,” he said. “But, of course, all my life I have been racing. It was impossible for me to take part in GP2 and Friday practice at the same time.
“So if I had to select my programme for this year again, undoubtedly we would have chosen the Friday practice. Concentrating solely on F1 was the best choice.”
Bottas said he is reluctant to feel sorry for Senna, who has been giving up his car in practice and then often struggling for the rest of the weekend.
“When he signed the contract,” the young Finn insisted, “he knew that on Fridays I would be at the wheel of the car. We try to act as a team, but if I was a race driver then I probably wouldn’t like it either if someone else is driving my car. It’s a normal reaction.”
“This is my third year with Williams, and my role in the team has always been becoming more important. This team has become my home and I would very much like to continue to work here,” he added.