Date: 3rd August 2015 at 10:40am
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Valtteri Bottas has admitted that the speculation linking him with a Ferrari drive from 2016 has affected him.

The Williams driver appears to be the paddock’s choice to replace Finnish compatriot Kimi Raikkonen for next year.

The 2007 Formula One World Champion’s Formula One career looks to be on the brink of ending, especially since suggestions that Ferrari’s one-year option on Kimi has now lapsed.

Ferrari had an option clause in his contract which would have seen the Finn race in 2016 if triggered by Ferrari. But according to Sky Sports, that expired at the end of July with Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene having no intention to make a decision on Kimi during Formula One’s summer break.

Meanwhile, Bottas has confessed that the reports consistently linking him with a switch are affecting him.

At the end of July the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claimed Ferrari have agreed to pay Williams ?12million to buy out Bottas’ contract.

Meanwhile a Williams spokesperson refused to comment: ‘We don’t ever comment on our contracts, this particularly applies to driver contracts so we have nothing further to add to this.’

But Bottas was happy to comment explaining to the media: ‘out of the car of course it is disturbing when there are some rumours.

‘People are asking the same questions all of the time but it is Formula 1 and you have to deal with it. For me it doesn’t make any difference who the speculation is with.

‘In principle it isn’t fair to Williams or to Kimi, there is nothing confirmed as to what will happen ? it will be best just to leave us in peace and we can focus on the driving. When there is news it will be announced.’