independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Motorsports: Bottas replaces Senna at Williams for next season

VALTTERI BOTTAS will join Pastor Maldonado at Williams next season after the British team announced their 2013 driver line-up on Wednesday.

Bottas, who was been the team's test driver since 2010, steps up in place of Brazil's Bruno Senna.

Venezuela's Maldonado has been rewarded for winning this season's Spanish grand prix, the team's first race victory since 2004, with a third year at the team.

"In Pastor and Valtteri we have two of the most exciting talents in motor racing and I am especially excited about what 2013 can bring for Williams," team principal Frank Williams said.

"Pastor has always demonstrated remarkable pace and this year has seen him mature as a racing driver. Valtteri is quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future."

The 23-year-old Valtteri, a protege of McLaren's double world champion Mika Hakkinen, has been groomed by Williams over the past two years and his lap times during race weekends this season have been impressive.

He was even being linked to McLaren as a possible replacement for departing 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"It has always been my life-long dream to compete in the Formula One World Championship," he said.

"To do so with one of the most legendary teams in the sport is incredibly special."

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