Valtteri Bottas

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Statistics

Team:

Sauber

Date of birth:

August 28, 1989

Country of birth:

Finland

Titles:

Valtteri Bottas’ F1 Debut alongside Pastor Maldonado

In 2013, Valtteri Bottas finally made his debut in the premier class, alongside Pastor Maldonado at Williams. His first notable performance was securing a third-place start for the Grand Prix of Canada. However, he did not score any points until the Grand Prix of America. The following year, Felipe Massa joined the team. Bottas started strong with a fifth-place finish in Australia, and his first podium followed in Austria. At the Red Bull Ring, Bottas finished third behind Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. He even secured second place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone after an impressive race from P14. More podiums followed that year: second in Germany and third in Belgium, Russia, and Abu Dhabi. This performance earned Bottas fourth place in the championship, ahead of champions like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

Unexpected Move to Mercedes

Bottas’ career took a sudden turn in 2016. Mercedes driver and world champion Nico Rosberg announced his retirement, and Bottas was immediately seen as the perfect candidate. He had a good relationship with Toto Wolff, his former manager, and his team Williams was a Mercedes customer. Team boss Claire Williams managed to negotiate a significant discount for her team in exchange for Bottas’ departure. In his first year with the team, the roles were clear: Lewis Hamilton was the alpha dog, and Bottas was the wingman. He secured his pole position in Bahrain, but he did not win there. His first victory came two weeks later in Sochi, making him the fifth Finnish Grand Prix winner, following in the footsteps of his idol, Häkkinen. Two more victories followed: in Austria and in Abu Dhabi.

No Match for Hamilton

In the coronavirus year of 2020, Bottas started with a victory but soon had to abandon his championship aspirations. Hamilton was simply too strong, and Bottas often fell short. In 2021, the competition was between teammate Hamilton and Max Verstappen from the start. Bottas played second fiddle and could not get involved in the fight. He occasionally performed support tasks for Hamilton, only managing to win a race in Turkey. This was also Bottas’ swan song at Mercedes, as young driver George Russell, who had been touted as the crown prince for years, finally got his chance in 2022.

Personal Life

Valtteri Bottas was married to swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen for several years, but the couple divorced in 2019. Bottas has been in a relationship with cyclist Tiffany Cromwell for several years. The two often cycle together. In addition, Bottas has also participated in rally races multiple times.

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