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.”
Bottas, who scored 9 podiums and 411 points for Williams, said he departed for the Silver Arrows feeling he’d given his all to the Grove-based team.
“I feel - I hope - I’ve given a lot to Williams,” added the Finn. “At least I tried everything I could - I always wanted to be a team player. My goal was always to bring the maximum points for the team, work a lot, work a lot with the engineers and race team and spend a lot of time at the factory.
“I really wanted to do everything to improve the team, give all the feedback I could to make us better, to make us quicker. So I hope I’ve given something and now I wish everything goes well in the future.”
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