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Williams tester Bottas eyes F1 debut in 2012

Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas is targeting a place on the 2012 grid.

“Williams is not likely to change drivers for next season, but 2012 might be different,” the 20-year-old Finn, a frontrunner in the F3 Euroseries, is quoted by Turun Sanomat.

Currently, Bottas conducts some straightline tests for the famous British team, and like his predecessor Nico Hulkenberg undertakes tasks at the Grove factory.

“It is a bit like an apprenticeship for an F1 driver,” he said.

Bottas said he will do some more aerodynamic testing in 2010, “and after the season the young drivers test in Abu Dhabi”.

“The next step would be GP2,” he explained.  “Williams will probably be involved in the decision about the team when the time comes.”

Bottas could also immediately step into the FW32 if either Hulkenberg or Rubens Barrichello are unable to race, even though he does not currently possess a mandatory super license.

He is managed by 1998 and 1999 world champion Mika Hakkinen, who works for his own manager Didier Coton’s organisation.

“My career is in good hands and I never would have reached this point without them,” insisted Bottas.