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Bottas favorite for Williams seat? UPDATE
Bottas (center)
(GMM)  Valtteri Bottas has acknowledged he is in the running to step up to the formula one race grid with Williams in 2012.

The new GP3 champion, already the famous British team's test driver, impressed during the young drivers' session in Abu Dhabi recently.

It is also believed the 22-year-old Finn is promising an ample amount of sponsorship and, alongside contenders including Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil, is in the running for a race seat in 2012.

Referring to his laps in Abu Dhabi, Bottas told Finland's Turun Sanomat: "I think the team wanted to see what I could really do on the track.

"I don't know whether they were looking for next year, or for the year after.

"It was really interesting to find out about the car and important for myself too and I noticed that I could do it quite well.

"If the call comes or not, I really can not say," he added.

Bottas said that if he is not called up to race for Williams in 2012, he is looking at the Renault World Series or GP2.

"These are the only other good options," he said.

11/28/11 Reigning GP3 champion Valtteri Bottas is emerging as favorite to partner Pastor Maldonado at Williams next season.

The chances of Kimi Raikkonen joining the team now seem to be over. The way we hear it, there was a fundamental difference of opinion over the 2007 world champion's worth.

Those negotiating on his behalf apparently took the view that as Williams was not in a position to pay Raikkonen the retainer they thought he warranted, Kimi should be given equity in the team. If that was an offer not extended to Adrian Newey, it was never likely to be made to Raikkonen.

On the other side, Williams may well have considered that Raikkonen was worth nowhere near the stratospheric retainers he attracted at McLaren and then Ferrari, who let's not forget, signed him as a Michael Schumacher replacement.

In 2008, however, Kimi struggled to assert himself over Felipe Massa, who had, on average, been the best part of half a second from Schumacher's regular pace and has since struggled against Fernando Alonso to a similar degree.

It appears, however, that Williams is keen on Raikkonen's countryman, 22-year-old Bottas, who won four times en route to this year's GP3 crown and who impressed the team in the recent Abu Dhabi young driver test. Grandprix.com

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