Felipe Massa: Valtteri Bottas crucial to 2016 F1 driver market

Valtteri Bottas is one of the "most important" names in the 2016 Formula 1 driver market, according to the Finn's Williams team-mate Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa: Valtteri Bottas crucial to 2016 F1 driver market

Bottas is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with at Ferrari should compatriot Kimi Raikkonen's seat become available in 2016.

Massa said: "Valtteri may be one of the most important names on the market.

"We cannot forget that he has an option to stay here, so we need to understand what's going to happen.

"He's showed that he's a good driver, he showed that he has talent to drive in a top team and he showed that he can do well in whatever he is racing.

"That's why other teams are interested in getting him, but I don't know if he's going or not. We need to wait and see."

When Massa's comments were put to him, Bottas told AUTOSPORT: "I don't know if I'm the most important name at the moment.

"You always hear from someone the rumours about yourself.

"I always think if you just focus on driving and keep driving well, getting good results, then good things will happen.

"So that's why I don't want to talk, think, too much ahead about what could happen because I think it's better to just focus on this moment."

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo are regarded as the other main candidates to replace Raikkonen should he part company with Ferrari.

Bottas admitted it was flattering to be linked with the Scuderia.

"Of course it is," he said.

"But then on the other hand I'm also really thankful for Williams, that they gave me the opportunity as test driver and then as race driver."

Massa signed a multi-year contract with Williams, which started last year, and said he would be keen to stay on with the Grove-based outfit.

"I don't see the point not to stay here," said Massa, adding there have already been talks about his future.

"I really like to work with this team, the team respect me a lot, I feel relaxed and we have some good results as well.

"I don't see why things should change. We have an option for next year, but I don't see why we would not take the option to carry on."

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