Bottas confident improved 2015 campaign possible for Williams

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Valtteri Bottas believes that Williams still has room for improvement ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 season despite enjoying an incredibly successful sophomore campaign with the team this year.

Coming into the United States Grand Prix weekend last year, the Finn had not scored a single point, ranking way down in the drivers’ standings.

Now though, Bottas sits fourth in the championship with five podium finishes to his name, marking an incredible change in fortunes at Williams. Nevertheless, he still thinks that the team can achieve more next season.

“What a 12 months it’s been,” Bottas said. “It’s been really good for us. We’ve been improving step by step, we made a big step in the winter and now we are in a really good position.

“But I do think we can still improve next year. That’s the goal. We aim to do better than this season and I’m sure it is possible.”

Williams is poised to finish the constructors’ championship in third place, which would mark its best Formula 1 season in over ten years.

Bottas also spoke about his excitement for this weekend’s race in Austin, believing that the team will be in good shape to finish ahead of both Red Bull and Ferrari on Sunday.

“I think it should be not bad,” Bottas said. “I think we can be strong here. It could be difficult to be close to the Mercedes as we were in Sochi but still I think it should be good and we’re going to have a good fight with Red Bull and Ferrari for sure.”

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Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).