Claire Williams has hailed Valtteri Bottas as the future of Williams, confident the driver is “one of the brightest stars” in F1.
Bottas first raced for Williams in 2013, a dismal season for the F1 team.
However, a year later it was a very different picture.
Claiming six podium finishes, the Finnish driver completed the season fourth in the Drivers’ Championship ahead of Championship-winning drivers Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
Signed with the team for 2015, Williams believes the driver has a long-term future with the Grove-based outfit.
“I’m sure people are looking at Valtteri, and why wouldn’t they? He’s one of the brightest stars in the paddock at the moment,” the deputy team boss told Autosport.
“But Valtteri started his career with Williams and when you talk to him you know that he’s 100 per cent committed to Williams.
“We’re committed with him on this future path for our team, and we’re committed to doing that together.
“For me, that loyalty is important and I think Valtteri feels that as well.
“Of course the name of Ferrari, for example, may be tempting, but he fits in well here, and I think for someone like Valtteri that fit is as important as anything else.
“And why would he want to leave when we have a competitive car [and] he knows the plans we have for the future success he can achieve with Williams?
“It’s not like we’re fifth or sixth in the championship. Why would he go to another team when we’re able to provide him with the car he needs in order to win? Why would he go elsewhere?”
Williams, however, concedes it is up to her and the team to keep the driver happy and near the front of the pack in order to have that future with him.
“You never know what the future holds – if Valtteri suddenly ended up being desperately miserable at Williams, because we hadn’t provided him with the equipment that we promised him we would, then we would never want to stop him.
“You never know in Formula 1, but right at this moment Valtteri has a contract and we both have a commitment to each other to work together.
“We’re so lucky with our driver line-up. We’ve got one of the best driver pairings on the grid, I’d suggest.
“They both work so hard for the team – they’re two drivers whose egos don’t get in the way of what we need to achieve as a group, and that’s so important for a team like ours.
“They are fully committed and do their bit to help the team move forward. They’ve really helped turn this around.”