• Williams news

Williams 2013 line-up still open - Wolff

ESPN Staff
September 17, 2012 « Hamilton not distracted by 'rubbish' | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Valtteri Bottas has impressed during his Friday practice outings for Williams so far this year © Sutton Images
Related Links

Williams driver line-up for 2013 is still open, according to executive director Toto Wolff, with test driver Valtteri Bottas in the running as a possible replacement for either Pastor Maldonado or Bruno Senna.

Maldonado and Senna have scored 54 points between them this season, including Maldonado's victory in Spain, but have also missed out on several points-scoring opportunities. Senna has had to make way for Bottas during ten Friday morning practice sessions as Williams has prepared the Finn for a future in F1.

Wolff, who has given financial backing to Bottas's career, says next year's line-up will be decided in the coming months, with Bottas in the frame.

"I think Valtteri is going to end up in Formula One, that's for sure, and I think the question is are we going to have him in one of our cars or somebody else going to sneak him up," he told ESPNF1. "This is a decision we have to make together in the next couple of weeks or months and decide which direction the team is going to head in; are we continuing with the current drivers or are we going to change one of them or two of them? So it's all open at this stage."

However, Wolff said that due to a possible conflict of interest moving forward with Williams and Bottas he would step back from the negotiations regarding his future.

"I don't have a role in his management - I leave that to others - but I have a participation, let's say a financial investment, and I would say that if Williams is not part of his future next year then because of that conflict of interest I will refrain myself from interfering and then it's up to Mika [Hakkinen] and Didier [Coton] to look what the best for Valtteri would be."

Wolff also made clear that there was no rush to get Bottas in F1, but the Finn would make it sooner or later.

"He has the talent to end up in Formula One and I expect him to end up in Formula One, whether it is next year or the year afterwards he's going to be one of the good ones for sure."