Valtteri Bottas has refused to rule out playing a starring role in this year’s ‘silly season’.
Last year, the Finn admitted strong rumours linking him with a potential switch to Ferrari were a distraction.
Now, an opening at the fabled Maranello team will once again be up for grabs for 2017, amid similar potential vacancies at other teams including Mercedes.
“There are just two races gone so it’s too early” for team switch reports, Bottas was quoted by Turun Sanomat newspaper on a marketing visit to his native Finland this week.
“But it is quite clear that I want to win, and at the moment that looks very difficult,” he added.
Now 26, Bottas has driven throughout his career at Williams and he had hoped openly for an improvement in 2016 after two consecutive seasons of the British team finishing third.
“We have improved aerodynamically,” he said, “but the others have as well. So after Bahrain we know that we need to keep improving.
“Mercedes and Ferrari have gone forward massively and others have come closer to us,” added Bottas.
“We are not satisfied with where our car is but we’re working hard.”
Asked by another Finnish newspaper, Ilta Sanomat, if he thinks Williams can win races in 2016, Bottas answered: “I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but at the moment it is very difficult.
“As the season progresses, we will see how we develop and how close we can get.”