Difficult year part of the learning process for Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas has said that although this year has been an incredibly difficult one for Williams, it has allowed him and the team to learn how to deal with a troublesome car and prepare sufficiently for next year’s raft of regulation changes.

Bottas is one of four rookies yet to score a point this season, but teammate Pastor Maldonado has also suffered from the FW35’s lack of pace as he has scored just one point compared to thirty-three by this time last year. However, the young Finn has been mature about the situation, conceding that it is part of becoming a grand prix racer.

“It’s been a challenging year,” he said. “We’ve been learning a lot the whole year as a team. It’s been very tough, so we’re definitely I think going in a good direction. We’re now very focused for next year.”

Bottas has also noted a change in the philosophy at Williams’ headquarters in Oxfordshire, England. With the arrival of Pay Symonds and rumors linking Ross Brawn to the team, the management re-shuffle could see the team reach new heights in 2013.

“The working at the factory is changing,” Bottas explained. “We’ve got some new people and I’ve already seen some good things. I really think the future of Williams will be much better than what we’ve seen this year.”

Regarding his own future, Bottas refused to speculate, instead pointing the media in the direction of deputy team principal Claire Williams. However, with Pastor Maldonado thought to be angling for a move away from the team, the Finn could be secure for a second year of racing in F1.

Ferrari signs Callum Ilott to young driver academy

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Ferrari has confirmed the signing of rising British racer Callum Ilott to its prestigious driver academy ahead of the 2018 season.

Ilott, 18, is a former member of Red Bull’s junior program, and has spent the last three years racing in the FIA European Formula 3 series, taking eight race wins.

After finishing the 2017 season fourth in the championship with Prema Powerteam, Ilott has now linked up with the Ferrari Driver Academy in the next step of his racing career, becoming its first British member.

“Ferrari Driver Academy is pleased to announce that British driver Callum Ilott is the latest promising young driver to be selected for its development program,” an announcement from Ferrari reads.

“18 years old, Ilott joins the FDA in his third season in car racing, having just finished the FIA F3 European Championship. He comes with a strong pedigree in international Formula 3 racing, having made the jump directly from karting as reigning European Champion.

“Ilott joins Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Guan Yu Zhou, Giuliano Alesi, Marcus Armstrong and Enzo Fittipaldi in the programme, which supports talented young drivers on their career path in motorsport.”

Besides its existing roster, the Ferrari Driver Academy also played a part in the careers of Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and the late Jules Bianchi.