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Valtteri Bottas

Alfa Romeo Racing
Nationality fin Finnish
Birthplace Nostola
Date of birth 28/08/1989 (32 yr.)
F1 debut 2013, Australia

F1 season 2022

WC Position 8
Races 9
WC points 46.0
Victories 0
Podiums 0
Pole positions 0

F1 career

World titles 0
WC points 1784
Races 187
Victories 10
Podium places 67
Pole positions 20

2022 marks a new chapter for Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn moving to Alfa Romeo on a multi-year deal after being Lewis Hamilton's teammate at Mercedes for five seasons.

Personal information

Name Valtteri Viktor Bottas
Team Alfa Romeo
Date of Birth 28 August, 1989
Place of Birth Nastola, Finland
Age 32
Height 1.73m
Weight 69kg
Nationality Finnish
Race Number 77

Biography of F1 driver Valtteri Bottas

Born in Nastola, Finland, Valtteri Bottas has become a familiar name on the F1 grid since making his debut with Williams back in 2013.

Learning his craft on the icy and snowy roads in Finland, Valtteri's family did not have any particular racing background. His father, Rauno Bottas, owns a small cleaning company while his mother, Marianne Valimaa, is an undertaker.

So how did Bottas make his way to Formula 1? Here's all you need to know about the career of Valtteri Bottas.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Bottas' early career

Bottas finished eighth in the 2005 Karting World Cup before winning the 2008 Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup. He would have won the 2007 Formula Renault UK Winter Series as well, however, he wasn't holding an MSA-registered licence for the championship. Nevertheless, he still managed to win three out of the four races.

The Finn made the move to the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2009. Although Bottas didn't win a race, he ended the season third in the championship, collecting two pole positions along the way. He won back-to-back Masters of Formula 3 titles in 2009 and 2010, becoming the first driver to pull off the feat.

Bottas was named as the Williams F1 team's test driver in 2010, and continued in the role in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, he also took part in the GP3 Series, claiming a win at each of the last four race weekends to secure the title over teammate James Calado.

F1 debut with Williams

Bottas finally made the move to a Formula 1 race seat in 2013, partnering Pastor Maldonado at Williams. His best qualifying position came at the Canadian Grand Prix, where he qualified in third behind Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. However, he failed to turn that performance into points, finishing the race down in 14th.

His first and only points finish of the season came at the penultimate race, an eighth-place finish in the United States. The result meant that Bottas ended the season ahead of Maldonado on points, four to one.

The 2014 season saw Bottas partnered by Felipe Massa, who joined from Ferrari. At the opening race of the year, Bottas qualified 10th and recovered from an early crash to finish sixth. He was then promoted to fifth after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from second.

Bottas qualified second for the Austrian Grand Prix, his highest position up to that point, and he followed that with a first career podium, finishing third behind winner Nico Rosberg and Hamilton. A second podium came at the British Grand Prix, as Bottas made his way through the grid from 14th to finish second.

Podiums followed in Germany, Belgium, Russia and Abu Dhabi, with the latter forming part of Williams' first double podium finish since 2005. Bottas ended the season fourth in the Drivers' Championship, finishing ahead of names such as Vettel and Fernando Alonso.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Impressing alongside the experienced Massa

The 2015 Formula 1 season didn't start well for Bottas, who qualified sixth for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. After injuring his back during the session, he was then kept out of the race. It also didn't help that, compared to 2014, Williams seemed to have slipped back, while Ferrari and Mercedes established themselves as the teams to beat.

Bottas managed to finish on the podium at two races, the first coming in Canada after Kimi Raikkonen spun due to an engine mapping issue. The second came in Mexico as he finished behind both Mercedes cars, while a third podium result in Russia was taken away after a collision with Raikkonen on the final lap of the race, which saw the Ferrari driver penalised.

In the end, Bottas finished the season fifth in the standings, ending up ahead of Massa for the second year in a row.

The duo continued their partnership in 2016, and were the only two drivers to finish in the points at the opening five races of the season. However, Bottas and Williams managed just one podium finish all year, which came in Canada. Although he had to settle for eighth place in the Drivers' Championship, Bottas did end the year having outqualified his teammate by 17-4.

Bottas' big move to Mercedes

After four seasons with Williams, Bottas made the switch to Mercedes in January 2017. He replaced the departing Nico Rosberg, who announced his shock retirement from the sport after winning the 2016 World Championship.

Bottas ended his first race for the team in third in Australia, and then claimed his first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Tyre issues meant he had to settle for third in the race, though he claimed his first career victory at the following round in Russia. The result made him the fifth Finn to win an F1 Grand Prix.

Bottas added second-place finishes in Canada and Azerbaijan, with the latter coming at the last moment of the final lap after passing Lance Stroll. Bottas added a second win in Austria, starting from pole and fending off Vettel to put him within striking distance of championship leader Hamilton.

However, after clinching a third win in Hungary, Bottas' championship charge fizzled out. He did end the season on a high, though, taking his fourth pole and third win at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

Things didn't start well in 2018 as Bottas finished eighth in Australia, but he followed that up with four second-place finishes from the next six races. He failed to cross the line in Azerbaijan, despite qualifying third, after a right rear puncture with two laps to go sent him crashing out of the race, handing victory to Hamilton.

Bottas signed an extension with Mercedes, but also became the first Silver Arrows driver since Michael Schumacher in 2012 to finish a season without a win. He also set a record for the most second-place finishes without a victory, with seven.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Racing in Hamilton's shadow

Bottas cruised to victory in Australia as the 2019 season began, claiming the fastest lap of the race and finishing 20 seconds up on teammate Hamilton. Mercedes started the year with three 1-2 finishes, though Hamilton took the wins in Bahrain and China.

Azerbaijan saw Bottas take a second consecutive pole, which he converted into his fifth career win, while Hamilton took victory in Spain, as Mercedes claimed two more 1-2 results.

That run ended in Monaco, as Hamilton took the chequered flag while Bottas finished third. A mistake in Germany, and a coming together in Hungary with Charles Leclerc before the summer break, saw Bottas fall well behind in the championship fight, though he bounced back towards the end of the year to claim victories in Japan and the United States.

Bottas finished the season second in the championship with 326 points, the most in his career up to that point. He recorded four wins, 15 podium finishes and five pole positions.

Although Bottas started the 2020 season with a victory in Austria, he wasn't able to mount a sustained challenge for the title as Hamilton cruised to his seventh championship win. The British driver ended the season with 11 wins compared to Bottas' two, with the second victory coming in Russia.

Any chances of getting back into the title battle ended at the Eifel Grand Prix. Bottas started on pole but was forced to retire from the race after a loss of power, allowing Hamilton to extend his lead in the championship to 69 points.

In the end, Hamilton took the title by 124 points, with Bottas finishing second, nine points clear of Max Verstappen.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Final year at Mercedes

Bottas began his fifth season with Mercedes in 2021, and kicked off the year with a podium in Bahrain. There was disaster at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, though, where the Finn had a difficult race which was then cut short following a collision with George Russell.

Russell went on to angrily accuse Bottas of "trying to kill him", but later apologised both to Bottas and his fans for the remarks.

Bottas achieved two further podiums in Portugal and Spain and looked to be on for a strong result in Monaco, but was forced to retire in bizarre circumstances when his mechanics were unable to remove a tyre from his car during a pit-stop.

At the next event in Azerbaijan, Bottas had a tough weekend and finished down in 12th, leaving him baffled by his lack of pace. He returned to the podium with a third at the Styrian Grand Prix, before going one better at the Austrian Grand Prix to finish P2.

Things went badly wrong in Hungary, where Bottas made an error going into Turn 1 on the opening lap of the race and consequently caused a multi-car pile-up which eliminated several - including himself - from the Grand Prix.

The Finn was handed a five-place grid penalty for the incident. This came at a time where his future at Mercedes was still unclear, with speculation linking Russell to his seat in 2022. Bottas did not feel that his mishap at the Hungaroring would have any bearing on the team's decision, though.

It was confirmed in September that Bottas would indeed be leaving the Silver Arrows at the end of the year to join Alfa Romeo, and Russell was given the nod as his replacement.

The announcement seemed to give Bottas a new lease of life. He won the Sprint Qualifying event at the Italian Grand Prix and finished on the podium in the main race, having made his way from the back of the field following an engine penalty.

A first - and ultimately only - win of the season came at the Turkish Grand Prix. He took yet another engine penalty in the United States, but still managed to finish the Grand Prix in sixth.

At the Qatar Grand Prix, Bottas looked able to battle for a podium before getting a puncture, making him the first of four drivers to suffer this same issue during the race. This forced him to record a DNF.

Bottas finished the season in third in the World Championship, and helped Mercedes to secure their eighth consecutive Constructors' Championship.

			© Pirelli
	© Pirelli

A new challenge at Alfa Romeo in 2022

After being given a special send-off from Mercedes, Bottas is now all set to begin the next chapter of his career with Alfa Romeo. The Finn has signed a multi-year deal with the team, bringing him the extra security he craved after previously being handed one-year contracts at the Silver Arrows.

Fred Vassuer, Team Principal at Alfa Romeo, has backed Bottas to regain his confidence with the Swiss outfit, whilst Bottas himself has set clear targets for what he hopes they can achieve.

Bottas has also said that he will help new teammate Guanyu Zhou, who will be F1's only rookie driver in 2022.