New Mercedes recruit Valtteri Bottas has said he believes it’s only a matter of time before his former team Williams return to winning ways.
Williams, who released Bottas to join the world champions earlier this month, are the third most successful team in F1 history in terms of wins with 114, but they haven’t triumphed since Pastor Maldonado scored a shock victory in Spain in 2012.
However, in a video message posted to Twitter by Williams, Bottas said the team’s progress during his seven-year tenure suggested a return to the top step - and even title glory - is not out of reach.
“It’s been an amazing learning curve for me and also the team,” said Bottas, whose 77 starts for Williams are bettered only by Nigel Mansell, Ralf Schumacher and Riccardo Patrese.
“Every year you can feel the team has gone more and more professional. Things are developing, even though sometimes the results don’t show it.
“I always say Williams has won so many championships that there’s no reason why it couldn’t win again. I think it’s only for this team a matter of time.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t get together our first win or the title, but I wish all the best to everyone at Williams and a lot of success. And I hope you will get the championship rather sooner than later.”