Valtteri Bottas will return to practice action in Bruno Senna’s car on Friday, even if the Shanghai skies open.
English-language television weather reports in the Chinese metropolis on Thursday are predicting a close to 100 per cent chance of rain for the opening day of action. Finn Bottas, Williams’ reserve driver who is managed by team shareholder Toto Wolff, is scheduled to drive Senna’s FW34 no matter what the weather brings, according to the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.
“The rain will not affect me, at least not in terms of how the programme is drawn up,” the 22-year-old driver said.
On Wednesday, the Oxfordshire based team announced that Susie Stoddart, who has now taken the surname of her new husband Toto Wolff, has become Williams’ development driver. The Scottish-born DTM driver will work on the driver simulator, conduct aerodynamic testing, and enjoy a “full track test in the coming months”, team boss Sir Frank Williams said.
“Susie will also attend a number of races with us,” he revealed. “I should add that, as Susie is married to Toto Wolff, a director of Williams, her appointment was carefully considered and then approved by the board, with Toto recusing himself from the process,” added Williams.
F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone welcomed the news.
“If Susie is as quick in a car as she looks good out of a car then she will be a massive asset to any team,” he said.