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.

Rebellion confirms LMP1 return, all-star line-up for WEC super season

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Rebellion Racing has confirmed it will return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship for the 2018/19 ‘super season’ with an all-star line-up featuring Le Mans winners Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer.

Rebellion raced in LMP1 as a privateer between 2009 and 2016 before stepping down to LMP2 for the most recent season, capturing the class titles at the first attempt.

Following a push from the WEC and Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to make LMP1 more appealing to privateer teams, Rebellion announced on Wednesday it would return to the premier class for the 2018/19 season with a two-car effort.

WEC LMP2 champion Bruno Senna will return with Rebellion next year, as will Mathias Beche, with the pair set to be joined by four new faces.

The most notable arrivals are Porsche factory drivers Lotterer and Jani, both of whom were left without an LMP1 drive following the closure of the German manufacturer’s program at the end of the season.

American racer Gustavo Menezes will also join Rebellion, stepping up after two years in LMP2, while outstanding 2017 rookie Thomas Laurent completes the Swiss team’s line-up.

“I am looking forward to coming back where my endurance career started nine years ago,” said Jani.

“Rebellion Racing played a huge role in my career and also helped me become a factory driver for Porsche. When Porsche stopped in LMP1, it was clear for me that I wanted to race again for Rebellion.

“With the new regulations, I hope we can reach the overall podium at Le Mans and with a bit of luck, maybe we can even grab some wins during the super season of WEC.”

“I am very happy to join the champion Rebellion team,” added three-time Le Mans winner Lotterer.

“The LMP1 project is very exciting and to be able to go on with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA WEC challenge is something I did not want to miss.

“I am motivated and looking forward to have a great time with great people there.”