Valtteri Bottas believes he can win with Williams next year – a belief which persuaded the Finn to stay with the team for 2017.
Bottas has raced for the Grove-based team since 2013, stepping up to a race seat after 15 outings in first practice the previous season.
His best result to date is second place, which he achieved at the 2014 British and German grands prix, but the Finn believes 2017’s new rules will give him the chance to go one better with Williams.
“I think it is a great opportunity for a team to catch up the leading teams when there is a big rule change like next year,” Bottas told Sportsclubsociety News HQ.
“Williams normally have been pretty good after a regulation change, they have been very quick in learning the new car and finding the latest tweaks and I believe in this team. I believe we have deserved much more than we have achieved together and I think that is possible and why I am here.”
Bottas is thought to have been courted by Renault as they sought to revamp their 2017 line-up, but the Finn believes he has a better chance of success at Williams.
“I still believe we can do better than we have done in the last three years. That is why I still believe in this team and why I want to stay,” he added.
“Now the only thing I am thinking is I want us to perform better, I want us to achieve more together and that is the only thing in my mind together. I believe we can win races together, but we really need to work hard for that and let’s hope next year it is possible.”
After three years alongside Felipe Massa – a veteran of almost 250 races – Bottas now will find himself as the senior driver at the team as he embarks on a partnership with 18-year-old Lance Stroll, who only graduated to car racing in 2014.
“Senior driver sounds a bit weird, I’ve just started, but there are much younger drivers now in Formula 1!” said Bottas.
“I think he is a very talented driver, seeing his career before F1 has been very impressive, he’s won every championship he’s been in and has dominated F3 which is a very high-level series. He is obviously a talented racing driver, he is going to learn quickly, and as a team we are all going to help him to learn to quickly and I see no problem for him to be very quickly up to speed. I’m sure we can be a good pair.”