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Williams sign Bottas as official test driver 29 Jan 2010

29th January 2010 Valterri Bottas photographed at the Williams HQ on Friday on his appointment as the official AT&T Williams team test driver. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic 29th January 2010 Valterri Bottas photographed at the Williams HQ on Friday on his appointment as the official AT&T Williams team test driver. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Williams have confirmed the appointment of Finland’s Valtteri Bottas as the team’s official test driver. Bottas, a 20-year old from Nastola, will take up the role vacated by Nico Hulkenberg as he steps up as a team race driver.

Having begun karting at the age of six, Bottas has a strong record of success with seven years in the Finnish national squad. In 2006, he concluded his karting career by winning the WSK International Series Formula A, Finnish Formula A and Finnish ICA.

In 2007, he moved to Formula Renault where, in 2008, he won both the Eurocup and NEC championships with 17 wins and 22 podiums from 28 starts. In 2009, he graduated to Formula Three with ART and was the highest placed rookie, finishing third in the championship with six second-place finishes and two pole positions in the 10-round Euroseries Championship. He also won the F3 Masters last year.

“This is a great way to start 2010,” Bottas said of his Williams signing. “I am very honoured to have been selected by a team as prestigious as AT&T Williams, one of the most significant names in the sport. This is an important step in my career but now the real work starts to get to the top. I am sure I will learn a lot with the team and I trust that together we will achieve great results for the years to come.

“This opportunity gives me even more positive energy to improve as a driver and achieve my future targets as my ultimate goal will be to become Formula One world champion one day. I take the opportunity to thank Sir Frank Williams and the senior management of the team and also to thank my management and my sponsors for all their work and support so far.”

On Bottas’s appointment, team principal Frank Williams said: “Valtteri’s CV is very impressive, with a long list of success in the right junior formulae. We hope that the role of official test driver in our squad will provide him with another step in his development. We wish him all the best in the Formula Three Euroseries this season.”