The Williams Formula One team announced on Wednesday that Finn Valtteri Bottas will line-up alongside Pastor Maldonado as their two drivers for 2013, meaning Brazilian Bruno Senna is replaced after just one season.
Senna joined the team in 2012 when he took over from the retired Rubens Barrichello after a brief spell with Lotus-Renault, but a 16th place finish this season and just 31 points from 20 races, means the nephew of the late Ayrton Senna is looking for a new team.
“The Williams F1 Team is pleased to announce that Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas will be the team’s race drivers for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season.” read a team statement.
The 23-year-old Bottas is highly rated by team boss Frank Williams and seen as the ideal man to team up with Maldonado who impressed this season and won his first GP in Spain in May.
“In Pastor and Valtteri we have two of the most exciting talents in motor racing and I am especially excited about what 2013 can bring for Williams”
Frank Williams said: “In Pastor and Valtteri we have two of the most exciting talents in motor racing and I am especially excited about what 2013 can bring for Williams.
“Pastor has always demonstrated remarkable pace and this year has seen him mature as a racing driver. Valtteri is quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future.
Bottas has primarily been used as a test driver since 2010 but impressed on several weekends this season when he took part in official practice.
He was GP3 champion in 2011 and is now set to make his Formula One debut on March 17, 2013 when the season begins in Melbourne.
“It has always been my life-long dream to compete in the Formula One World Championship.” said a delighted Bottas.
“To do so with one of the most legendary teams in the sport is incredibly special. I’ve really enjoyed my three years with Williams so far and feel very at home here so my goal was always to stay for 2013 and progress to a race seat.
“I’m looking forward to getting my Formula One career started and enjoying a lot of success with Williams.”