Claire Williams kept promise by allowing Bottas to leave

by Paul Hensby

Claire Williams allowed Valtteri Bottas to leave Williams Martini Racing to join the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team in 2017 after revealing that she promised the Finn that they would not stand in the way of another move to a top team.

Bottas had been linked with Scuderia Ferrari back in 2015, but Williams played hard ball in preventing the Finn to leave, but released him from his contract at the end of the 2016 season in order for him to replace the retired Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.

Williams, the deputy Team Principal of the Grove-based team, admits she has an interest to see just how Bottas performs in 2017 in his new team, especially as he now partners Lewis Hamilton.

“Valtteri has been an important part of Williams, he’s got that fiery passion that you want in a driver because all he wants to do is be in the best car and win,” said Williams to

“When you have a driver that you know that’s all they want, why force them to race your car? That’s not the right thing to do.

“We stood in Valtteri’s way once, when Ferrari came along, and I made a promise to Valtteri I wouldn’t stand in his way again – I honour my promises.

“He has an amazing opportunity, and it will be interesting to see how Valtteri does this year.”

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