Bottas unsettled by Ferrari rumors

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Valtteri Bottas acknowledged that rumors last summer of a move to Ferrari for 2016 were "disturbing" and had a negative bearing  on his driving and results.

The 26-year-old Williams driver was at the center of much speculation last year, with pundits considering the Finn as an ideal replacement at the Scuderia to countryman Kimi Raikkonen.

While talks most certainly took place between Ferrari and Bottas' management, it is believed the hefty fee demanded by Williams to free its driver from his contract with the Grove outfit was ultimately an insurmountable hurdle for Maranello.

"It was the most disturbing time of my career so far," Bottas told Autosport.

"I could really feel what media can do, they keep asking the same questions every race. Even on the street, normal people ask you about the same thing all the time, it's like 24/7 the same thing.

"It's not ideal, because when you go to a race weekend, the only thing you want to have in your mind is how do you get the perfect result.

"When there are rumours like this, it makes it more difficult. It didn't help, but that is F1."

In hindsight, Bottas has extracted from the whole affair a few lessons which he will remember the next time he finds himself in a similar situation.

"It was a good experience for me," he said.

"I still hopefully have a long career ahead of me and there will most likely be lots of speculation to come, maybe in 2016.

"It has prepared me well how to deal with it. Now I've been in that situation, I think it's probably good for the long term."

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