Bottas says he needs to race in 2013

Valtteri Bottas says he needs to get racing in 2013 if he is to continue his development as a driver.

With the Finn understood to be closing in on a deal to join Pastor Maldonado at Williams next year, he reckons another season just as third driver would be of little use to him.

"I need to get racing and F1 is the place I want to be," Bottas said when asked by AUTOSPORT about whether he felt it essential he raced next year.

"I just need to drive more. This year already, this second half of the season, when there were big gaps between Fridays, it started to feel more and more difficult to find the rhythm quickly, especially when it was a new circuit to learn.

"So really I need to get to drive more because it is not easy to keep up and improve.

"Many times the case was in the second half of the season that just when you got a good rhythm or understood a track, then the tyres were finished."

Bottas, who has little sponsorship backing, is believed to be the favoured option to partner Maldonado in 2013 following his performances on grand prix Fridays this year.

The man himself thinks he did everything he could to prove to Williams that his talent justifies a race seat, and he feels he has the potential to do even better with more mileage under his belt.

"I hope they see that I will do really well, and I know there is much more to come if I can drive more," he said.

"I hope the team can see that there is much more to improve.

"It has not always been about showing quick lap times [on Fridays], because there have been many times when it has been about gathering data and useful information from practice one. "

Bruno Senna, who drove the second Williams in 2012, is understood to be a strong contender to drive at either Caterham or Force India for next season.