Bottas dismisses Ferrari pre-contract speculation

Leave a comment

MONTMELO – Valtteri Bottas has denied signing a pre-contract with Ferrari for 2017 following speculation linking the Finn with a possible move away from Williams in recent weeks.

Bottas was one of the breakout drivers of the 2014 season, finishing fourth in the championship and leading Williams to its best season in ten years.

His success has led to speculation about a possible move to Ferrari in the future upon the expiration of Kimi Raikkonen’s contract, leading to rumors in the past three weeks that he had signed a pre-contract with the team for the 2017 season.

However, the Finn was quick to dismiss this when speaking ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, but was humored by the reports.

“I’ve heard plenty of stories and it is sometimes quite funny sometimes to hear those, because in the end you know what the case is and what is not,” Bottas said.

“There are a lot of people making up stuff and at the moment I am focusing on getting the maximum for as as a team. The rest, I don’t know yet.”

When asked directly if he had signed a pre-contract, Bottas’ answer was simple: “No.

“I am not really thinking about those [rumors]. It is for my management to think [about] and like I said, I am personally just focusing on this moment and this season as I think this is the best thing for me to do for the future as well.”

Bottas’ contract with Williams is set to expire at the end of the 2015 season, but the Finn confirmed that he has not started talks with the team about a possible extension yet.

“At the moment we have not spoken about the future yet,” Bottas said. “Of course we want to win here at Williams, we have big plans in the future and the team has invested a lot.

“We have made massive jump from 2013 to 2014 and maybe this season has been a little bit difficult start, but if we can keep the development going we can be stronger at the end of the season.”

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

The idea of Hamilton attending the 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 only would be fitting if 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 — spent 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).