sport

Senna out, Bottas in for Williams

Williams have announced that Valtteri Bottas will replace Bruno Senna as Pastor Maldonado's team-mate in 2013.

The Finn has consistently impressed during his fifteen appearances in Friday's Practice sessions throughout the season and has now been promoted to a full race seat for next year.

Were HRT not to make it on to the 2013 grid, confirmation of Bottas' promotion means that only five places are still to be filled for next season - although Lotus are expected to name Romain Grosjean as Kimi Raikkonen's team-mate and Paul di Resta is understood to have a contract with Force India.

Williams, meanwhile, are confident that they will boast one of the fastest line-ups on the grid when the action begins again in four months' time in Australia.

'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," enthused team boss Sir Frank 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. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our departing driver Bruno Senna for his hard work over the past year and wish him the best of luck going forward.''

The highly-rated Bottas, who has been the team's test driver since 2010, is also understandably delighted with his promotion.

''It has always been my life-long dream to compete in the Formula One World Championship. To do so with one of the most legendary teams in the sport is incredibly special," the 23-year-old commented. "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.''

It remains to be seen whether Senna finds a seat on the 2013 grid with the Brazilian recently strongly linked with Caterham.