Williams wasn't interested in selling Bottas to Ferrari

Williams insists it was never really interested in selling on Valtteri Bottas to make a profit, despite Ferrari sounding it out about a potential 2016 deal for the Finn.

Ferrari approached Williams earlier this year as part of an evaluation process for its 2016 driver line-up, and wanted to know how much it would cost to extract Bottas from an option that the Grove-based team had on him.

The negotiations did not go very far and, with Ferrari in the end deciding to retain Kimi Raikkonen, it was inevitable that Williams would keep Bottas on board for another campaign.

Speaking after confirming the new deal with Bottas and Felipe Massa for 2016, deputy team principal Claire Williams made it clear that her team's priority was in keeping both its drivers than trying to make a quick profit.

"I think there has been no secret of the fact that Ferrari has been looking at Valtteri," she said. "But fortunately we were able to keep him here – which is the best outcome for us... We got what we wanted out of it, so we are pleased."

When asked if the team was ever tempted to sell him, she replied: "Not really no, why would you? I don't think you can put a price tag on someone like Valtteri.

"Valtteri is such an integral part of the transformation. He has been with the team for six years now, everyone knows the talent he has.

"It's not just from a pure driving perspective. He brings the full package that when we are going out and talking to shareholders and partners, and telling them, and have been telling them for a long time now that Valtteri is a part of our long term plan, to have to change that because he is no longer part of it?

"To go back to everybody that we have said he is a part of it? You cannot quantify that with money that you can potentially get back from it."

Beyond 2016

Bottas' contract currently only runs until the end of next year, which means he will be a free agent for 2017 when there could be a big shuffle in the driver market.

Williams said that her team was eager to keep him for the long term, but that would depend on her team being able to deliver a competitive car.

"He [Bottas] signed for 2016, and it would be lovely if we can keep him here for longer than that. But we know that it is down to us.

"We have to give him the car that he deserves to show his talent and a car that he can win races with.

"I would love it if Valtteri was with the team for his whole career because he is such a great talent, but it is up to us to make sure that we can give him the car."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Valtteri Bottas
Teams Williams
Article type Breaking news