MOVING ON UP? Williams' Valtteri Bottas will be joining Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari in 2016. Image: AFP / Jewel Samad
MARANELLO, Italy - Valtteri Bottas has reached a deal with Ferrari to replace Finnish countryman Kimi Raikkonen from 2016.
That's the claim of Italy's Corriere dello Sport today (July 17 2015), adding that the Maranello team would therefore not exercise its 2016 'option' on Raikkonen's contract.
That option does not expire until July 31 so, the newspaper said, there would be no official confirmation of the deal "at least until that date".
The report revealed that Ferrari reached an agreement with Bottas' current team Williams, which has a firm option on the 25-year-old's services for 2016.
Corriere dello Sport said the deal, brokered by Bottas' experienced manager Didier Coton, amounted to about €12-million (about R160-million).
The paper's correspondent, Fulvio Solms, supported the decision to oust Raikkonen. "Kimi did not fit with the previous two Ferrari cars," he told Speed Week. "He did not fit with the new team management. Sometimes he seems not to fit even with himself."
Reports say the driver who will take Bottas' Williams seat in 2016 will be the British team's former reserve driver, Felipe Nasr.Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season. Fresh reports every day.
Brazilian Nasr, who stepped up from the Williams reserve seat to make his GP debut with Sauber in 2015, carries significant sponsorship from Banco do Brasil.