Valtteri Bottas

1. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas is a Finnish Formula 1 driver, born August 28, 1989 in Nastola (Finland) and who plays for the Alfa Romeo team.

Bottas Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas during the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix ©DPPI


2. Valtteri Bottas’ junior career

Valtteri Bottas made his debut in a single-seater in 2007, in Formula Renault, until 2008. The following year, he signed with a French team, ART Grand Prix, in order to race for the Formula 3 championship. The Finnish driver will achieve the 2009/2010 double in Formula 3, before becoming the third driver from the manufacturer Williams in Formula 1. In 2011, the Finnish driver won the GP3 Series during the final race, at Monza. Finally, the following year, he completed fourteen free practice sessions in Formula 1 with Williams in place of Bruno Senna, whom he will permanently replace for the 2013 season.

Bottas GP3

Valtteri Bottas in GP3 during a race in Istanbul in 2011 © Frédéric Le Floc'h / DPPI

3. Valtteri Bottas’ Grand Prix (F1) journey

Valtteri Bottas' career in the Formula 1 world championship began with the Williams team in 2013, where he came very close to scoring his first points during the second Grand Prix of the year, in Malaysia. Finishing the majority of races ahead of his teammate Pastor Maldonado, the Finnish driver will have to wait until the United States Grand Prix (the penultimate of the year) to score his first points of the season. In the final ranking, he ranks in 17th position with 4 points on the clock, ahead of his Venezuelan teammate.

With the number 77 written on his Formula 1 car, Valtteri Bottas will begin his second season by finishing in fifth place at the inaugural Australian Grand Prix. With 10 points scored, the driver and his team achieved a better score than the entire previous season. The good results will come one after the other for the Finn. He will even have the luxury of achieving three podiums in a row (the first for Williams after two years of drought), during the GPs of Austria, Great Britain and Germany. With three other podiums coming later (in Belgium, Russia and Abu Dhabi), Valtteri Bottas will finish in fourth place in the standings with 186 points, just off the podium.

Bottas Williams

Valtteri Bottas during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2016 © Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI.

Valtteri Bottas' third season starts like the previous one. The Finn, after having competed in five F1 GPs, is in 5th place in the standings. During the race in Canada, the native of Nastola will experience his first podium of the year, finishing behind the two Mercedes, before returning to the same third step in Mexico. He finished the championship in fifth place with 136 points on the clock.

The Finnish driver's final year at Williams will be much more complicated. Driving a less efficient car and in decline, Bottas could do no better than grab a single podium (Canadian GP), and finished in eighth place in the championship (85 points scored). However, for his third consecutive year, he is ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa.

The announcement of the retirement of reigning world champion Nico Rosberg will precipitate Bottas' transfer to Mercedes. For 2017, Lewis Hamilton welcomes a new teammate. After nine podiums in the colors of Williams, Bottas announced the color as soon as he arrived at Mercedes, his new team: “I am still missing my first victory, so this will be my first mission”. To complete it, Bottas will have to wait for the Russian GP. After 81 starts and starting third on the grid, he beat the two Ferraris (Vettel and Räikkönen) from the first corner to claim his first victory in Formula 1, which would then be accompanied by two other successes (Austrian GP and Abu Dhabi). In total, for his first world championship with the Silver Arrows, he finished in 3rd place in the ranking with 305 points scored.

Bottas Russia 2017

Valtteri Bottas during his first Formula 1 victory at the 2017 Russian Grand Prix © DPPI

Bottas' second season is more complicated. The Finnish driver experienced several disappointments at the wheel of his car. The most notable example is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where he was forced to retire after driving over a piece of debris, while he was in the lead. The Finn won only two pole positions throughout the year, and did not win a single race. He finished the season in fifth position, with 247 points on the clock, far behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton, crowned world champion.

Bottas' 2019 world championship must be one of revenge, after a very disappointing last edition. From the inaugural GP in Australia, he won the race and took the opportunity to send a message during his lap of honor: “For those who care, fuck off”. During this third season, he won three other GPs, in Azerbaijan, Japan and the United States. Thanks to these excellent results and numerous second places, he finished the season as vice world champion, behind the unbeatable Lewis Hamilton. He has had his best season with the Brackley team, whether in terms of number of GP victories, number of points scored (326) or even in the drivers' standings.

In a 2020 season disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Valtteri Bottas started his season by taking pole position at the Austrian GP, ​​which he won. At the Sochi GP, the Finn will achieve the ninth victory of his career in the motorsport firmament. He finished his fourth season with Mercedes as vice-world champion, with 223 points.

Boots 2020

Bottas at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix © Florent Gooden / DPPI

In 2021, Valtteri Bottas is playing his 5th and final season with Mercedes, but he doesn't know it yet. The Finn is suffering and cannot keep up with the pace of Hamilton and Max Verstappen (Red Bull), engaged in a merciless race for the title. He has a string of podiums and clean races. At the Emilia-Romagna GP, he was hit by George Russell in a spectacular crash. The rise in power of the Briton from Williams, combined with the decline of Bottas, suggests that something is afoot at Mercedes... Despite five pole positions and a victory, the 10th of his career, in Turkey, Valtteri Bottas is not renewed by the Silver Arrows, which launched George Russell into the deep end. Alfa Romeo jumped at the opportunity and offered a multi-year contract to the Finn, whose career with Brackley ended with a sad 6th place in Abu Dhabi.

Boots 2021

Valtteri Bottas in Abu Dhabi © DPPI

The objective: to find his mojo within the Hinwil stable. And it’s a liberated and smiling Valtteri Bottas who puts on his new suit. Freed from the pressure of being a Mercedes driver, he is finally the first driver of a team with rookie Guanyu Zhou at his side. He places himself as a mentor who carries the team on his shoulders with great experience, the pair bringing a new dynamic after Raïkkönen and Giovinazzi. With five retirements, the reliability of the car tarnishes the 2022 results of the Finn, who is still struggling to find aggressiveness against his mid-grid competitors. He finished his first Swiss-Italian campaign in 10th position in the ranking, 8 lengths ahead of his teammate, and will be renewed for 2023.

4. Auto Hebdo's opinion on Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas proved very early in his career that he had the talent and the shoulders to drive for a big team and fight for the world champion title. At Williams, he always obtained better results and a better final ranking than his teammate, Felipe Massa. Promoted to Mercedes driver after the departure of Nico Rosberg, he failed to emerge from the shadow of Lewis Hamilton. Often relegated to the role of British driver's lieutenant by Mercedes, he never had the opportunity to challenge for the title. As evidenced by the strategies adopted during the Bahrain (2017) and Russian GP (2018), Bottas had to let his teammate pass to give him every chance in the fight for the title.

At Mercedes, Bottas won 10 Grand Prix and five years. With a dominant car, he could have aspired to better. With Alfa Romeo, the Finn made the decision to move back in the hierarchy of the field, to better bounce back?

Results in Formula 1

Highlights of Lewis Hamilton's career


March 17, 2013: With the Williams team, Valtteri Bottas makes his debut in Formula 1 during the Austrian GP. Photo DPPI


January 16, 2017: After four seasons at Williams, the Finnish driver signs with Mercedes to compensate for the retirement of Nico Rosberg. Photo DPPI


April 30, 2017: Valtteri Bottas wins in Russia and takes the first victory of his F1 career - Photo DPPI


December 1, 2019: At the end of the last GP of the season (Abu Dhabi), Valtteri Bottas becomes vice-world champion, behind Hamilton. This is the best result of his career - Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Valtteri Bottas
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Ecurie Mercedes
Age Aug 28, 1989 (34 year)

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