Jun.25 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Williams and Valtteri Bottas are quiet in the face of mounting speculation about the Finn’s future.
Germany’s Bild newspaper reported this week that Ferrari is offering Williams EUR 4 million to buy Bottas out of his 2016 contract with the British team.
Contacted by Brazil’s Globo, Grove based Williams said it “never” comments on the contractual situation of its drivers, and therefore will not comment on the Bild story.
And Bottas himself told the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat as he tested in Austria on Wednesday: “There are always a lot of rumours in F1.
“Nothing has changed for me. I am concentrating on this season, which is the best thing for me and the team.
“We will know later on what will happen,” the 25-year-old added.
The speculation has ramped up amid the difficulties faced by Kimi Raikkonen, the current occupant of the second Ferrari seat.
Even Esteban Gutierrez, the Italian team’s test driver, admitted he would like to fill the struggling Finn’s place.
“That would be great. That’s all I can say!” the Mexican said whilst testing the Ferrari on Wednesday.
Mika Hakkinen, involved in Bottas’ management, emphasised the difficult situation currently facing Raikkonen.
“Once things begin to not work out for you,” he said, “then the situation can often keep getting worse.
“I have personally experienced similar situations in my formula one career where for some reason nothing seemed to work,” Hakkinen said in his latest interview with Hermes.
But according to Pino Allievi, a veteran and authoritative writer for Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, Raikkonen still has a slim chance of staying in 2016.
But “The team is insisting on results now,” he said. “It has been waiting for almost two years, Ferrari has offered loyalty, help and everything Kimi needs, but I think the situation is still the same as it was last year when he was with Fernando Alonso.
“What is certain is that with results such as in Austria, it is impossible that Kimi stays next year with Ferrari. But at the moment, the team is just waiting.
“The only priority at the moment is the car, and catching up with Mercedes as soon as possible.
“If Kimi gets back to the level we know he is capable of, then he will stay alongside (Sebastian) Vettel. But as we all know, Ferrari requires results from both of its drivers,” Allievi added.