Bottas: Ferrari speculation unfair on all involved

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Valtteri Bottas has hit out at speculation linking him with a move to Ferrari for the 2016 Formula 1 season after the Italian team confirmed on Wednesday that it would be retaining Kimi Raikkonen.

Bottas had been linked with a move from Williams to Ferrari for next season as Raikkonen’s replacement, with reports in Italy suggesting that a fee of $13m had been agreed between the two teams.

However, this part of silly season was laid to rest earlier this week when Ferrari announced that it had exercised its option on Raikkonen’s contract and would be retaining the Finn for 2016.

Speaking to reporters in Belgium ahead of this weekend’s race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Bottas said that the speculation about his future had not been fair on him, Williams, Ferrari or Raikkonen.

“It’s been unnecessary because most of it has not been true,” Bottas said.

“It doesn’t do any good to mine and the team’s relationship. It’s not fair for us to have those kind of rumors, and it’s not fair to Kimi and Ferrari.

“At some point people wrote I had [signed] a pre-contract, which is not at all true.

“Of course, you need to look around at what’s available, but now they have made a decision, it’s very clear for everyone what the situation is. It doesn’t change anything.”

Bottas is yet to be confirmed by Williams for the 2016 season, and although the team looks set to activate its own option in the Finn’s contract, he said that talks were still ongoing.

“For next year we’re still in discussions, so there’s no confirmation about that,” Bottas said.

“I just want to be in a little bit quicker car, but I think with Williams we can do it next year if I stay here.”