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|Formula 1 driver
Valtteri Bottas is a Finnish racing driver who currently drives in Formula 1 with Mercedes and previously drove for Williams from 2013 to 2016.
Valtteri Viktor Bottas was born in Nastola, Finland in 1989 to Rauno Bottas and Marianne Välimaa. His father owns a small cleaning company and his mother is a undertaker. He grew up in Heinola. Bottas briefly served in the army, which is compulsory for adult males in Finland.
He made his first racing experiences from 2001 to 2006 in karting. Bottas finished eighth in the 2005 Kart World Championship. In 2007, Valtteri Bottas decided to switch to single-seater racing. Bottas won both the 2008 Formula Renault Eurocup and the 2008 Formula Renault Northern European Cup. For the 2009 season he was promoted to the Formula Three Euro Series and was in contention for the reigning ART Grand Prix champion. Although Bottas didn’t win a race, he did claim two pole positions en route to third in the championship. In 2009, Bottas won the Masters of Formula 3, securing pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race. Winning the event again in 2010 became the first driver to win the F3 Masters title for a second time. In 2010, Bottas was named a test driver for the Williams Formula One team and would continue to do so in 2011 and 2012. Also in 2011 the Finn contested the GP3 series and stayed with F3 squad ART. Bottas returned to racing in 2013 when he was confirmed as Pastor Maldonado’s teammate at Williams-Renault for the season. In 2013, Bottas qualified third at the Canadian Grand Prix. He scored his first points at the United States Grand Prix with eighth place. In 2014, Bottas drove with Williams-Mercedes alongside Felipe Massa. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas qualified second, his best starting position in Formula 1 at the time, and achieved his first podium in the sport by finishing third. At the end of the season he finished fourth overall in the drivers’ standings and beat former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. At the opening race of the 2015 season in Australia, Bottas qualified sixth for the race, but injured his back in qualifying. Williams lost to Ferrari over the winter and slipped further behind Mercedes. He achieved two podium finishes in the 2015 season. Bottas finished fifth in the drivers’ standings. He and Massa remained teammates at Williams through the 2016 season. Bottas finished third at the Canadian Grand Prix, matching last year’s result. This was Williams’ only podium that season. He achieved an unofficial Formula 1 record speed of 378 km/h on the Baku City Circuit during qualifying for the European Grand Prix. The second half of the season was less eventful for him. In the drivers’ standings, he again finished 8th. Mercedes signed Bottas as Lewis Hamilton’s partner for the 2017 season. Bottas finished third in his first race as a Mercedes driver, the Australian Grand Prix. At the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, he qualified on pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton, marking his first pole position of his career. He won the 2017 Russian Grand Prix, his first Grand Prix victory. He was the fifth Finn to win a Grand Prix. He clinched his third pole position of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix, followed by his fourth pole position and third win at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. Bottas drove for Mercedes again in the 2018 season. He ended the season as the first Mercedes driver to end a season without a win since Michael Schumacher in 2012. With seven second places, he also set a new record for most second places without a win in one season up. Bottas has been re-signed to contest the 2019 season with Mercedes alongside world champion Lewis Hamilton. He celebrated his first win in thirteen races at the Japanese Grand Prix and finished the 2019 season in 2nd place in the championship. Bottas has been confirmed to drive for Mercedes again in 2020.
Bottas ended the 2019 season in 2nd place in the championship with 326 points, the most successful season of his career to date. He achieved four wins, fifteen podiums, five pole positions and three fastest laps. Since joining Mercedes, Bottas has won seven races, three in 2017 and four in 2019.
“Maybe there’s something wrong with me because I don’t feel any pressure or fear.”
“I can be nice – I don’t have to be rude for no reason.”
“I know when I’m in the car I always do my best.”
tips for success
“Let me tell you something, never give up on your dream.”
“Every athlete, every person is individual.”