Williams defend driver decision

Williams are adamant they have not committed financial "hara-kiri" by axing Bruno Senna and replacing the Brazilian with Valtteri Bottas.

After three years patiently waiting in the wings for a full-time race seat at Williams as both test and reserve driver, the 23-year-old Finn will finally get his chance in Formula One next year after the team confirmed their driver line-up for 2013.

The decision is hardly surprising as Bottas has long been mooted for the role, however, it is believed Williams are taking a hit in terms of finances as Senna was able to bring more to the table. Despite that, executive director Toto Wolff said: "We are very aware the operations have to be financed and the markets are difficult out there."

He added: "Finance plays an important role, so for us it was important to have the best possible package, and we are happy Valtteri has partners who are committed to Formula One, and have followed him into Formula One.

"Valtteri has been with the team for a couple of years, and has been an investment until today. But I'm happy to say he is not only doing a great job on track, but off it as we have been quite successful in Finland securing backing. It is not unsubstantial.

"We have always tried to be a profitable entity, and I can tell you - and it is official because we are public - we have no debt, we are profitable. We are growing our diversified business, and we have loyal partners who are going to stay with us next year.

"So getting Valtteri on board is not a hara-kiri move from a commercial point of view. It (his drive) is well funded, and it must be well funded. It is a very careful long-term decision."

Bottas is, however, very highly-rated, to such an extent founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams has described him as "quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future".

Last year's GP3 champion appreciates the comment, even if Williams has already placed considerable pressure on his young shoulders.

"Frank said the same thing in a factory talk, and when it was my turn to speak the first thing I said was 'thanks Frank for the pressure'," said Bottas. "It's such great words from Frank. I admire him because he has been pushing this team so hard for so long, and they have been so successful, with a great history."

< Back
Reddit Facebook Digg Del.icio.us Twitter Bebo

Latest Sport

Today's Features