Williams tips Bottas as a future world champion

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Claire Williams has tipped Valtteri Bottas to become Formula One world champion in the future, despite failing to score during his opening five races for Williams F1 team.

Talking to the official Formula One website about Bottas, Williams said: “He is so great. Cool and calm. He is a typical Finn.

“I think we definitely have a future world champion at hand – but of course we have to give him the car to allow him to prove his talent.”

The FW35 car has certainly stunted the progress of both Bottas and teammate Pastor Maldonado so far in 2013, with neither driver scoring any points. At this point in 2012, the team had scored 43 points, and Maldonado had claimed one race win in Spain. Last weekend, the team was fighting off Caterham’s Charles Pic come the checkered flag, but Williams is pleased with how her rookie driver has done.

“He has done a good job so far. He has finished every race, made up positions with great overtaking manoeuvres, and is giving strong feedback to the engineers in order to improve the car.”

However, Williams admitted that solving the problems with the car was no quick-fix, and it would be some time until the team would return to the top ten.

“When we found out what the problem with the car is after Malaysia we knew that it wasn’t going to be fixed quickly. So we didn’t have the expectation that once we start the Europe campaign it would be the start of a new beginning. We still have a long road ahead of us to get back into regularly qualifying in Q3 and regularly scoring points.”

Traditionally, Williams has always ran well in Monaco, and with a few retirements, Bottas and Maldonado could yet break their pointless duck in 2013.

Brown: Dennis would have made same decision on McLaren-Honda split

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Zak Brown believes former McLaren team boss Ron Dennis would have made the same decision to cut ties with struggling Formula 1 engine partner Honda had he still been in charge at the team in 2017.

McLaren executive director Brown helped engineer a deal for the team to split with Honda at the end of the 2017 season after three tough seasons that had seen the Japanese manufacturer offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

The decision split opinion, with McLaren spurning a significant annual financial injection from Honda in order to link up with Renault, believing its on-track fortunes had to be prioritized over its commercial interests.

In an interview with Sky Sports, Brown was asked if he believed Dennis – McLaren’s long-running team chief before stepping down at the end of 2016 – would have made the same decision to cut ties with Honda.

“I think he would have,” Brown said.

“He was here when those conversations were ongoing and I think Ron always has and always will have the best interests of McLaren in his heart.

“He is Mr. McLaren. It burns him inside as much as us not to see us winning races.”

Brown also elaborated on the decision to break off the much-lauded relationship with Honda, saying the first signs of trouble with the 2017 power unit were clear in pre-season.

After a number of attempts to try and rectify the situation, Brown and his fellow team bosses felt there was no alternative but to end the Honda deal for 2018.

“We knew we were in trouble in testing in Barcelona and we worked really hard for six months to try and find solutions that would give us confidence that we’d be much more competitive in 2018,” Brown said.

“Ultimately, after trying many different things and many different ways we felt we couldn’t get there.

“Three years is a long time in Formula 1 and so we needed to change the direction to get our team back at the top.”