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Valtteri Bottas

Formula 1 driver

Valtteri Bottas
Credit: LAT
Vital statistics for Valtteri Bottas
BirthplaceNastola, Finland
Born28 August 1989
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2013
Driver number77
Current teamMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Recent fastest laps
2017Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Japanese Grand Prix
2014Russian Grand Prix

Bottas started as a test driver for the Williams team until they finally gave him a race seat in 2013. Valtteri immediately impressed, dragging unexpected pace from the underperforming car. With the team's performance turnaround in 2014, Bottas was a regular fixture on the podium and towards the sharp end of the qualifying grid. It was no surprise when Williams retained their driver lineup for 2015/16 but they couldn't hold on to him when Mercedes came calling for the 2017 season.

F1 biography

Valtteri Bottas started his motorsport career in karts, before moving on to variations of the Formula Renault category. He started winning races and championships, including the 2007 Formula Renault UK Winter Series, which he raced in despite being unable to be included in the championship standings due to a licensing issue.

In 2009, Bottas joined the Formula Three Euroseries, securing a handful of pole positions and ending the year third in the championship. His success had gained the attention of the Williams F1 team, who signed him as their test driver in 2010. He continued in this role for two more seasons, gradually gaining more experience and driving in free practice sessions to get more mileage under his belt. He combined his duties with a seat in the GP3 series, winning the title in 2012.

For the 2013 season, Williams gave Bottas his F1 breakthrough, partnering him with Pastor Maldonado for a full first year in the sport. He impressed almost immediately with some strong performances and a good common sense attitude. He secured a highlight third place grid slot in Canada, but didn’t pick up his first points in F1 until nearer the end of the year. He finished ahead of Maldonado in the driver standings, thanks to the 8th place finish in the US Grand Prix, and he was re-signed to Williams for another season in 2014.

The performance of the car improved over the course of the season, and Bottas capitalised on the newly-found pace of the machinery beneath him. He finished on the podium six times during the course of the season, and wound up fourth overall in the championship. Williams retained their line-up of Bottas and Massa for 2015 and 2016. Initially, Bottas was set to drive for Williams for another season in 2017, but his name was quickly linked with Mercedes when one of the seats at the team became free.

In January 2017, Bottas was confirmed to be moving to Mercedes for the coming season, although both he and Williams admitted they were somewhat emotional about bidding farewell to each other after going through so much together.

Learn more about Valtteri Bottas with the Pocket F1 Handbook.