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Start United States GP
To drivers

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes AMG Motorsport
Nationality fin Finnish
Birthplace Nostola
Date of birth 28/08/1989 (32 yr.)
F1 debute 2013, Australia

F1 season 2021

WC Position 3
Races 16
WC points 177.0
Victories 1
Podiums 9
Pole positions 2

F1 career

World titles 0
WC points 1140
Races 172
Victories 10
Podium places 65
Pole positions 18

Finnish Formula 1 driver Valterri Bottas will hope to put a disappointing 2020 campaign behind him and mount a serious title challenge in what will be his fifth season at Mercedes. Since joining the German giants in 2017, Bottas has performed solidly but has been overshadowed by his record-breaking teammate, Lewis Hamilton.

Personal information

Name Valtteri Viktor Bottas
Team Mercedes
Date of Birth August 28, 1989
Place of Birth Nastola, Finland
Age 31
Height 1.73m (5' 7")
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 didn't 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 F1? Here's all you need to know about the career of Valtteri Bottas.

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 Three Euroseries in 2009. Although Bottas didn't win a race, he ended the season third in the championship with two pole positions. He won back-to-back Masters of Formula 3 titles in 2009 and 2010, becoming the first driver to pull off the feat.

After being named Williams test driver in 2010, he continued in the role in 2011 and 2012 as well. 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 an F1 seat in 2013, partnering Pastor Maldonado at Williams. His best qualifying position came at the Canadian Grand Prix when he qualified third behind pole sitter 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 of the season, an eighth place finish in the USA. The result meant that Bottas finished 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 season the Finn qualified 10th and recovered from an early crash to finishing 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 up with a first career podium, finishing third behind winner Nico Rosberg and Hamilton. A second carer podium followed at the British Grand Prix, as the Finn made his way through the grid after starting 14th to finish second.

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

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Impressing alongside the experienced Massa

The 2015 F1 season didn't start well for Bottas, who qualified sixth for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. However the Finn injured his back during the session and was then kept out of the race. However compared to 2014, Williams took a step back as Ferrari and Mercedes established themselves as the teams to beat.

Bottas managed to finish on the podium at two races, the first one 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 finish in Russia was taken away after colliding 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, beating Massa in the standings for the second season in a row.

The duo continued their partnership in 2016, and they 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 in Canada. Although the Finn had to settle for an eighth place finish in the Drivers' Championship, he did finish the year having out-qualified his teammate 17-4 over the course of the campaign.

Bottas' big move to Mercedes

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

Bottas finished 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 win at the following race in Russia. The result made him the fifth Finn to win a Grand Prix.

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

However after adding a third win in Hungary, Bottas' championship charge fizzled out. He ended the the season on a high however, taking his fourth pole and third win at the season ending 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 at the next six races. However he failed to finish 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. Although Bottas signed an extension with Mercedes during the season, he became the first Mercedes driver since Michael Schumacher in 2012 to finish a season without a win. He also set a record for most second-place finishes without a victory with seven.

			© Mercedes
	© Mercedes

Racing in Hamilton's shadow

Bottas cruised to victory in Australia, claiming the fastest lap of the race and finishing 20 seconds up on teammate Hamilton. Mercedes started the year with three one-two finishes, though Hamilton took top spots in Bahrain and China.

Azerbaijan saw the Finn take a second consecutive pole and he converted it into his fifth career win, while Hamilton took victory in Spain as Mercedes added two more one-two finishes.

That run ended in Monaco as Hamilton took the chequered flag in Monaco 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 USA.

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

Although Bottas started the 2020 season with a win in Austria, he wasn't able to mount a sustained challenge for the title as Hamilton cruised to his seventh championship. 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 championship fight ended at the Eifel Grand Prix. Bottas started on pole but he 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 in second nine points clear of Max Verstappen.