Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes move leaves 'emotional hole' at Williams

Valtteri Bottas's move to Mercedes leaves an "emotional hole" at the Williams Formula 1 team, according to deputy team principal Claire Williams

Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes move leaves 'emotional hole' at Williams

Williams released Bottas from his 2017 contract to allow him to replace Nico Rosberg as Lewis Hamilton's team-mate in a deal announced today.

Bottas spent seven years at Williams, joining as test driver in 2010 and then driving in 15 Formula 1 free practice sessions two years later before being given his grand prix debut in 2013.

"Everyone at Williams would wish him well, he's been with the team for a long time," Williams told Autosport.

"It's probably more of an emotional hole he will leave, but people move on very quickly in F1.

"No one at Williams will be bemoaning he is leaving as they know we have made this decision for the health of the team.

"It's the right thing to do for the team and for Valtteri.

"I don't think it would be respectful of everything Valtteri has given this team if we stood in his way.

"You also don't want a driver who isn't motivated to drive for you."

Williams fended off interest from Ferrari for Bottas in 2015, with the Finn then agreeing a new deal to remain with the team in 2017 prior to the Mercedes move.

Williams says its decision to let him go is payback for his loyalty.

"When the Ferrari situation happened, he didn't go there, he stood by us," she said.

"Now is the time to return the favour.

"The team will be disappointed but I know everyone will wish him well and hope he has the success he has dreamed of since he was a boy."

RETURN WILL REIGNITE MASSA

Bottas's replacement and former team-mate Felipe Massa was re-energised when he joined Williams after four difficult seasons alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari.

Williams thanked the Brazilian for his role in its revival after joining the teams 2014 and believes the opportunity to come out of F1 retirement this year will have a similar impact.

"Felipe's heart beats in F1, we all saw how emotional he was about leaving," she said.

"He said he didn't want to stop racing, it's in his DNA and I know he's delighted that he can do this.

"We're grateful he'll come out of retirement and help us and that shows the relationship we have with Felipe and how big a part of the team he is.

"We saw in 2014 when he joined us that it reignited him and this will do that as well.

"He has been working hard in the gym over the winter.

"Anyone who thinks Felipe isn't motivated is mistaken."

shares
comments
Mercedes F1 recruit Bottas is 'no-nonsense', boss Wolff says

Previous article

Mercedes F1 recruit Bottas is 'no-nonsense', boss Wolff says

Next article

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes F1 signing ends 'commotion' - Niki Lauda

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes F1 signing ends 'commotion' - Niki Lauda
Load comments
Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1? Plus

Was Hamilton's Hungary solo start a good or bad look for F1?

OPINION: Different perspectives had Lewis Hamilton’s solo second standing start in Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix as fabulous or farcical. But did it make the championship appear too silly for the sake of a moment of high-charged sporting drama?

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2021
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021