Finnish racer Valtteri Bottas, who was linked with a move to Scuderia Ferrari for the 2016 season, has said that the reports linking him to Ferrari have been extremely distracting and unnecessary. Bottas was seen as a replacement for his compatriot Kimi Raikkonen, who has a dismal season until now. All speculation ended on Friday, when Ferrari announced they had extended Raikkonen’s contract till the end of the 2016 season.
When asked by Eurosport if the rumors were distracting Bottas said, "Yeah, definitely. It's been unnecessary because most of it has not been true. It doesn't do any good for mine and the team's relationship. It's not fair for us, to have those kinds of rumors. "It's also not fair for Kimi or Ferrari. Now it's easier, everyone knows more or less what is happening."
Valtteri Bottas admits Ferrari rumours destabilised him and that he needs to raise his game http://t.co/FCVhUbXhoB— James Allen (@Jamesallenonf1) August 20, 2015
Bottas also denied reports of him speaking to Ferrari and said Raikkonen’s extension meant nothing to him. "Of course, you need to look around at what is available. But now they have made a decision and it is clear for everyone what the situation is. It doesn't change anything."
Williams can retain Bottas for another season and the Finn has confirmed that talks are in place between the two. "You want to know as early as you can for next year or even more," he said. "It would be nice to know. We have to wait, there is no mega rush."
Bottas is confident that Williams can give a fight next season for the championship, and has also said the team will be extremely competitive. "I just feel I've made a good job with this car," he said. "I just want to be in a bit quicker car. As a team, with Williams, we can do it for next year, if I stay here and work together well."
His teammate, Brazilian driver Felipe Massa is also in talks with Williams regarding his extension till the end of 2016, and hopes the team line up will be the same next year. "Hopefully we can still be another year together, me and Valtteri," said Massa. "We are working well in the team. We just wait to see if it will happen, but hopefully it will happen. I don't really see a reason why [he will] not [stay]."