MAY 13, 2016
Bottas waiting for 2017 silly season
Valtteri Bottas is not ruling out playing a role in the 2017 'silly season'.
A year ago, the Finn found himself in the middle of the rumours about Kimi Raikkonen's future at Ferrari.
Bottas stayed at Williams, where he has had a less than perfect start to 2016 although he finished a solid fourth in Russia.
"It wasn't nice to start the championship with three bad races," he told Spain's El Mundo Deportivo in Barcelona.
He admitted that, to keep his name in the headlines ahead of the new 'silly season', he needs results.
"I do need results but I don't feel extra pressure," said the 26-year-old.
But if he does feel some pressure, it is partly because Williams has slipped behind Red Bull in 2016.
"I think beating Red Bull is quite a realistic goal for us, but if we want to achieve it, we need to develop the car more," Bottas is quoted by Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper.
He admitted that, at some point, he will begin to press the issue of 2017 and whether to stay at Williams or try to switch to another team.
But "Not yet," said Bottas. "Really the very best I can do for my future is to focus on here and now, and every weekend.
"At some point, and I don't know when, but usually the speculation begins sometime in the summer, and then maybe I will start to think a little bit about it.
"I do not have any information about next year yet," he insisted. "But in the summer or early autumn I will see the way it starts to go and whether there are any other places or if I stay here."
Bottas said that if he does stay at Williams, the 2017 rule changes will be a good opportunity for the British team.
"The changes are a great opportunity for everyone to hunt down the best teams," he said.
"With the current rules, Mercedes and Ferrari would stay at the top and be difficult to catch. For us it will be difficult for us to make great progress this year, but in 2017 it is a really good chance," Bottas said.