Valtteri Bottas facts for kids
Bottas in 2019
|Born||Valtteri Viktor Bottas
28 August 1989
|Formula One World Championship career|
|Entries||128 (127 starts)|
|First entry||2013 Australian Grand Prix|
|First win||2017 Russian Grand Prix|
|Last win||2020 Russian Grand Prix|
|Last entry||2019 Monaco Grand Prix|
|2020 position||2nd (223 pts)|
|Formula One testing
Formula 3 Euro Series
British Formula 3
Formula Renault Eurocup
Formula Renault NEC
FRUK Winter Series
Formula Renault Eurocup
Formula Renault 2.0 NEC
Valtteri Viktor Bottas ( born 28 August 1989) is a Finnish racing driver currently competing in Formula One with Mercedes, racing under the Finnish flag, having previously driven for Williams from 2013 to 2016. Bottas has won five races, three in 2017, four in 2019 and Lua error in Module:ConvertNumeric at line 503: Invalid decimal numeral. in 2020, since joining Mercedes.
- Early life
- Early career
- Formula One
- Rallying and other racing
- Personal life
- Other ventures and philanthropy
- Racing record
Valtteri was born in Nastola, Finland, on 28 August 1989 to Rauno Bottas and Marianne Välimaa. His father owns a small cleaning company, and his mother is an undertaker. He was educated in Heinola. Bottas served in the army briefly, which is mandatory for adult males in Finland. His military rank is lance corporal.
Bottas finished eighth in the 2005 Karting World Cup for the P.D.B. Racing Team, using Gillard chassis and Parilla engines.
Bottas won both the 2008 Formula Renault Eurocup and the 2008 Formula Renault Northern European Cup. In doing so, he repeated the feat of Filipe Albuquerque, who won both the NEC and Eurocup in the same season, in 2006.
Bottas would have also won the 2007 Formula Renault UK Winter Series, had he been holding an MSA-registered licence for the championship. This, however, did not stop him from competing, and he won three out of the four races in the championship.
He moved up into the Formula Three Euroseries for the 2009 season, competing for reigning champions ART Grand Prix. Despite not winning a race, Bottas set two pole positions on his way to third in the championship, edging out future BMW i Andretti Motorsport driver Alexander Sims at the final race. In June 2009, Bottas won the 2009 Masters of Formula 3, also claiming the pole position and setting the fastest lap of the race. By winning the event again in 2010, he became the first driver to win the F3 Masters title for the second time.
In 2010, Bottas was assigned test driver for the Williams Formula One team and would continue as such for the 2011 and 2012 (where he took part in 15 Friday Free Practice sessions) seasons. Also in 2011, he contested the GP3 Series, remaining with F3 squad ART. After a tough start to the season, he claimed a win in each of the last four race weekends and secured the title by winning the penultimate race ahead of his teammate and future Jaguar Racing driver James Calado.
Bottas returned to racing in 2013, as he was confirmed as teammate to Pastor Maldonado at Williams-Renault for the 2013 season on 28 November 2012. On 8 June 2013, Bottas qualified in 3rd position at the Canadian Grand Prix behind Sebastian Vettel (1st), and Lewis Hamilton (2nd). He scored his first points finish at the United States Grand Prix by finishing 8th. This result allowed Bottas to finish ahead of Maldonado in the Drivers' Championship.
On 11 November 2013, Bottas was confirmed to continue with Williams-Mercedes in 2014 alongside Felipe Massa, who was signed from Ferrari to replace Pastor Maldonado. At the first race of the 2014 season in Australia, Bottas qualified 10th and finished 6th, after recovering from a crash earlier in the race. He was later promoted to 5th after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified from 2nd position. At the Austrian Grand Prix, Bottas qualified 2nd, his then-best grid position in Formula One and achieved his first podium in the sport, finishing third behind Nico Rosberg (1st) and Lewis Hamilton (2nd). Despite qualifying 14th on the grid at the British Grand Prix, Bottas charged through the field to finish second, following Rosberg's retirement from the race, thereby achieving his second consecutive career podium. At the German Grand Prix, he qualified second and ended the race in the same position despite a late challenge from Hamilton. After achieving three more podiums in Belgium, Russia (where he set his first fastest lap of a race) and Abu Dhabi (part of the Williams team's first double podium since the 2005 Monaco Grand Prix), Bottas finished 4th overall in the Drivers' Championship, beating the likes of former world champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
In September 2014, it was announced that Bottas and Massa would retain their drives with Williams for the 2015 season. At the opening race of the season in Australia, Bottas qualified sixth for the race, but injured his back during qualifying. He was taken to The Alfred Hospital for precautionary checks, where he was diagnosed with soft tissue damage to his lower back, and was not medically cleared to race. Both Bottas's and Williams's season did not live up to their hopes. Williams lost out in the development war to Ferrari over the winter and slipped further behind Mercedes. Bottas achieved two podium finishes across the 2015 season. The first came at the Canadian Grand Prix when Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari experienced an engine mapping issue resulting in him spinning, leaving an easy podium opportunity for the Williams driver. The second podium of the season came in Mexico behind the Mercedes duo. Two races earlier, Bottas had been on course to finish third in Russia before Räikkönen collided with him while trying overtake on the final lap of the race. Sergio Pérez was rewarded with the podium, while Räikkönen was penalised, dropping him to 8th and Bottas retired. Bottas finished 5th in the Drivers' Championship beating his experienced teammate Felipe Massa for the second consecutive year.
Bottas and Massa remained teammates at Williams for the 2016 season. They were the only two drivers to achieve points finishes in all of the first five races of the season. Bottas claimed third place at the Canadian Grand Prix, matching his result of the previous year. This turned out to be Williams's only podium finish of the season. He achieved an unofficial Formula One record speed of 378 km/h (235 mph) at the Baku City Circuit during qualifying for the European Grand Prix. The second half of the season was less eventful for Bottas. He finished 8th in the Drivers' Championship, once again ahead of his teammate Massa's 11th place. He also out-qualified his teammate 17–4 over the course of the season.
On 16 January 2017, Mercedes announced that they signed Bottas for the 2017 season to partner Lewis Hamilton, replacing the 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg following his shock retirement from the sport. Bottas finished 3rd in his first race as a Mercedes driver, the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, behind Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. At the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix he spun behind the safety car and fell from 5th to 12th but managed to fight his way back to 6th place behind Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, the two Red Bulls and Kimi Räikkönen. He managed to qualify on pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton at the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix, marking his first career pole position.
However, in the race he had to settle for third place after suffering from tyre pressure problems during his first stint, and being unable to find the pace to battle Vettel and Hamilton. He won the 2017 Russian Grand Prix on 30 April 2017, his first Grand Prix win, after jumping the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen from 3rd on the grid on the first lap, making him the fifth Finn to win a Grand Prix. He retired from 3rd in the next race in Spain with an engine issue, having previously survived a collision with Verstappen and Räikkönen on the first lap that took the other two drivers out of the race. Mercedes was off the pace in Monaco, struggling to generate heat in the tyres. Nevertheless, Bottas qualified 3rd, less than a tenth of a second off the pole time, while his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, could only qualify 14th. Bottas finished 4th in the race. Bottas finished 2nd in Canada, behind teammate Hamilton, followed by a recovery drive in Azerbaijan to 2nd, having been in last place and a lap down following a collision with Räikkönen on the first lap. He used the multiple safety cars and red flag period to catch up to the pack and the ensuing chaos and drama in front of him allowed him to eventually snatch 2nd at the last moment of the last lap from Lance Stroll. Bottas topped this at the next race with a pole and victory at Austria, holding off Sebastian Vettel's charging Ferrari towards the end of the race, putting him only 15 points behind Hamilton in the championship.
Having started the next race in Britain in 9th, following a five-place grid penalty for a new gearbox, he made his way up the field to 3rd and eventually finished 2nd, behind Hamilton, courtesy of a late-race tyre failure for Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen. In Hungary, he qualified and finished 3rd, with Hamilton giving him the position on the last corner of the last lap after he let Hamilton go through to attack the Ferraris. After the summer break, Bottas finished 5th in Belgium, having started 3rd, as he was overtaken by both Ricciardo and Räikkönen after the safety car restart, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton won the race. He qualified 6th in Italy (he would start 4th due to penalties for the Red Bulls), more than 2 seconds slower than pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. He recovered to finish 2nd. In Singapore, he qualified 6th and good strategy meant that he finished the race in 3rd following the four-car collision on the first lap that occurred in front of him. He then finished off the podium for the next three races, while Hamilton racked up two wins and a 2nd place, as Mercedes clinched their fourth consecutive Constructors' Championship in the USA. He got his third pole position of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix, followed by his fourth pole and third win at the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
On 13 September 2017, Mercedes announced that Bottas would be driving for them once again in the 2018 season. Bottas started off the season poorly in Australia, where he crashed out in Q3 and was given a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox as a result, meaning he would start the race in 15th place; his teammate Hamilton started the race from pole. In the race, Bottas made it up to eighth place, benefiting from the virtual safety car as well as performing a few overtakes on a track where it is difficult to pass cars. Bottas bounced back in Bahrain by putting his car third on the grid, behind the Ferraris of Vettel and Räikkönen but ahead of Hamilton who qualified fourth. In the race, Bottas got past Räikkönen, at the start. At the end of the race, Vettel's tyres began to go off quickly, and Bottas closed the gap to Vettel to within a second and eventually finished second, with Hamilton just a few seconds behind him.
Bottas again out-qualified his teammate to take third place on the grid, as the Ferraris locked out the front row again, in China. He again pounced on Räikkönen at the start, after his fellow Finn had been squeezed by Vettel, and moved up to second. He then managed to overtake Vettel during the first pit stop phase and took the lead with a move around the outside of Räikkönen, who had yet to pit, at the first corner. However, when the Toro Rossos of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly collided and forced a safety car period, both Bottas and Vettel had passed the pit entrance and were unable to stop for fresh tyres. Both the Red Bulls pitted for softer and faster soft tyres. Ricciardo came through the field from sixth place and performed an audacious overtake on Bottas with only eight laps to go. Bottas finished second in the race and remained third in the championship, and 14 points behind leader Vettel.
At the next race, in Baku, Bottas again qualified third, behind Vettel and Hamilton. He remained in third for the first period of the race, but when both Hamilton and Vettel pitted for new tyres Bottas inherited the lead. He stayed out for 15 more laps until the Red Bulls collided and brought out the safety car. When the safety car came in, with less than a handful of laps to go, Vettel tried to pass into turn 1 and ran wide, and consequently fell to fifth place. With just two laps to go, Bottas ran over a piece of debris, sustained a right rear puncture and retired from the race, handing Hamilton the victory. This meant that Bottas fell to fourth in the championship, 30 points behind Hamilton in first.
Ahead of the German Grand Prix, Bottas signed a new contract with Mercedes for the 2019 season with an option for the 2020 season.
By the end of the season, Bottas became the first Mercedes driver to finish a season without a win since Michael Schumacher in 2012. With seven second-place finishes, he also set a new record for the most second-place finishes without taking a win in a season.
Bottas was again signed to race with Mercedes for the 2019 season alongside world champion Lewis Hamilton. In the first race weekend of the year in Australia, Bottas qualified second fastest behind Hamilton. On Sunday, 17 March, race day, he overtook Hamilton into turn 1 and he held the position the whole race after some stellar driving. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race and therefore gained the extra point awarded to the driver who records the fastest race lap, according to the 2019 regulations. He carried on to win by over 20 seconds to his nearest rival and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
In Bahrain he finished 2nd to his team-mate for another one-two. In the following race in China, Formula 1's 1,000th race, he took pole for the first time since Russia 2018. His teammate jumped him at the start and stayed there for the entire race to win. Bottas meanwhile finished 2nd to give Mercedes their third one-two in a row for 2019.
In Azerbaijan, he took his second consecutive pole position, securing a front row lockout alongside his teammate Hamilton, subsequently converting his position on the grid into his fifth race victory of his career and his second of 2019. Hamilton finished second, making it Mercedes' fourth consecutive one-two finish.
In Spain, he took yet another pole position and secured another front row lockout alongside his teammate. Bottas went on to finish second behind Hamilton, making it the team's fifth one-two in a row.
In the following race, the Monaco Grand Prix, Bottas qualified 2nd, behind team-mate Hamilton, breaking his streak of three consecutive poles, starting from China. He eventually finished 3rd, behind Sebastian Vettel and ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who faced a five-second penalty for an unsafe release into the pit lane, into Bottas. This was the first race in 2019 to not have a Mercedes 1-2 on the podium as Vettel took 2nd ahead of Bottas. This race extended Hamilton's lead over Bottas in the Drivers' Championship to 17 points.
For the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, Bottas held off Hamilton to take pole position with a 0.006 second faster time; however, poor timing of the safety car resulted in Hamilton taking the lead and victory of the race. Both Mercedes drivers finished ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who finished third. The last two races before the 2019 summer break, the German Grand Prix and Hungarian Grand Prix did not go well for Bottas. Due to a small mistake in wet conditions he crashed during the German Grand Prix and retired from the race. In the first lap during the Hungarian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc clipped the front wing of Bottas' car, forcing an extra pit stop and causing him to fall back down the order. Bottas eventually finished the race in 8th place.
At the end of the summer break prior to the Belgian Grand Prix, Bottas was confirmed to drive for Mercedes again in 2020, after the team decided not to promote reserve driver Esteban Ocon. Bottas took his first victory in thirteen races at the Japanese Grand Prix. In Mexico, he crashed heavily at the end of the final qualifying session, before eventually finishing the race in 3rd place. Bottas took his seventh career victory at the following race in the United States. Despite his victory, this race saw the end of Bottas' 2019 championship hopes, as teammate Hamilton finished 2nd to clinch the World Driver's Championship title. Bottas suffered an engine failure in Brazil leading to his second retirement of the season, and ended the season with a 4th place finish in Abu Dhabi.
Bottas finished the 2019 season in 2nd place in the championship with 326 points, the most successful season of his career to date. He recorded four wins, fifteen podium finishes, five pole positions and three fastest laps.
Bottas continued driving at Mercedes alongside Hamilton for 2020, having agreed a one year extension to his contract during the 2019 season. He set the fastest time in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Bottas took pole position at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix and led the race from start to finish. Prior to the Styrian Grand Prix, it was revealed that Bottas and his team Mercedes were under investigation by the FIA for potentially breaching COVID-19 safety protocols after he returned home to Monaco. Whilst it was initially reported that Mercedes would receive warning letters, Bottas and Mercedes were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Bottas qualified fourth in wet conditions for the Styrian Grand Prix and went on to finish second in the race behind Hamilton, cutting his championship lead to six points. Bottas qualified second behind Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix, but made a false start and lost four places at the first corner. He was able to recover to third place by the end of the Grand Prix, but lost the lead of the championship to Hamilton.
Bottas again qualified second behind Hamilton at the British Grand Prix. He ran closely behind Hamilton for most of the race, but fell back in the closing laps before suffering a tyre failure with four laps remaining. He returned to the pits for a tyre change and eventually crossed the finish line in 11th place. Bottas secured pole position at the following week's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, but tyre issues for the Mercedes cars allowed Max Verstappen to pass both and win the race. Bottas fell to third place behind Hamilton in the closing laps. This result caused Bottas to drop to third place in the drivers' championship. Bottas qualified second for the Spanish Grand Prix but lost positions at the start and finished third behind Verstappen. At the Belgian Grand Prix, he qualified second and held the position during the race. He again qualified second for the Italian Grand Prix, but dropped to sixth place in the opening laps and would only recover to fifth by the finish line. Verstappen's retirement in the race allowed Bottas to regain second place in the drivers' championship, 47 points behind Hamilton.
At the Tuscan Grand Prix, Bottas took the lead from pole-sitter Hamilton on the first lap. The race was red-flagged on lap seven after a multi-car accident, and Bottas lost the lead of the race to Hamilton shortly after the restart, eventually finishing second. He qualified third behind Hamilton and Verstappen for the Russian Grand Prix, but benefited from penalties issued to Hamilton for pre-race practice infringements to cross the finish line first, claiming the ninth Grand Prix win of his career. Bottas took pole position for the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, but was overtaken by Hamilton for the lead after a lock-up at turn 1, and later fell further behind after Hamilton was able to make a pit stop during a virtual safety car period. Shortly afterwards, Bottas complained of power loss and was forced to retire from the race, extending Hamilton's championship lead to 69 points. Bottas finished second at both the Portuguese and Emilia Romagna Grands Prix. He took pole position at the latter, but took damage from debris in the early laps and fell to third before Verstappen retired with a tyre failure.
Both Mercedes cars struggled for pace during the wet Turkish Grand Prix qualifying session, with Bottas qualifying ninth. The rain continued during the race and Bottas spun six times, finishing a lap behind eventual race winner Hamilton in 14th place. This gave Hamilton an unassailable 110-point lead over Bottas in the drivers' championship, resulting in Hamilton claiming his seventh world title.
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Bottas extended his contract with Mercedes into 2021. At the Bahrain Grand Prix, he finished third. At the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, he struggled compared to his teammate Lewis Hamilton, unable to work his tyres and stuck in ninth position. Bottas' difficult race concluded with a retirement, after a crash with George Russell as the latter was attempting to overtake Bottas. At the Portuguese Grand Prix, Bottas qualified on pole position but was passed by Hamilton and later Verstappen. Despite showing better pace than Verstappen in the late stages of the race, a sensor issue deprived him of challenging for second. He achieved the same result at the Spanish Grand Prix after qualifing third and being overtaken by Leclerc at the start. At the Monaco Grand Prix, Bottas was challenging for pole position, until Charles Leclerc crashed at the 16th corner, causing a red flag to be displayed and qualifying to be immediately ended before Bottas could complete his lap. Due to this, Bottas started third on the grid, he was promoted to second after the Charles Leclerc could not start the race due to a car issue. His race, ended on lap 31 after his team was unable to remove a wheel during a routine pitstop. At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, he qualified in 10th place, after a red flag prevented him and other drivers from setting a second flying lap in the third and final session, and was unable to make up positions in the race, eventually finishing 12th, ahead of only the Haas cars, Nicholas Latifi and his teammate Hamilton, who had made a mistake on lap 50. At the French Grand Prix, Bottas qualified in 3rd place behind teammate Hamilton and Verstappen. In the final stages of the race he struggled with tyre wear, as he had pit early to undercut Verstappen, and was passed by Verstappen and Pérez, finishing 4th. In the Styrian Grand Prix, Bottas qualified 2nd ahead of Hamilton, but was demoted to fifth due to a penalty for dangerously spinning in the pitlane in FP2. During the race he overtook the McLaren of Lando Norris using DRS and undercut Pérez during the pitstop phase, and despite coming under pressure from the two-stopping Red Bull at the end of the race, finished 3rd, his first podium since Spain. In the Austrian Grand Prix, he qualified 5th directly behind Hamilton. During the race several close battles resulted in cars being forced off-track and drivers receiving time penalties. Hamilton suffered damage to his car and the team ordered Hamilton to allow Bottas to overtake him. Bottas finished 2nd behind Verstappen.
Rallying and other racing
In January 2019, Bottas took part in the Arctic Rally, recording a stage win and finishing fifth overall. In December 2019, he won the Paul Ricard-based Rallycircuit Cote d'Azur. In 2020, Bottas again participated in the Arctic Lapland Rally, where he drove a Citroën DS3 WRC car and finished ninth. He later partook in an Extreme E test in October 2020, alongside Jean-Éric Vergne and Sébastien Loeb. In January 2021, Bottas competed in his third Arctic Lapland Rally. He scored a class podium and finished sixth overall.
On 11 September 2016, Bottas married his long-time girlfriend, Emilia Pikkarainen, a fellow Finn and an Olympic swimmer whom he had been dating since 2010. The couple were married at St. John's Church in Helsinki. On 28 November 2019, Bottas announced their separation and divorce, citing the "challenges my career and life situation bring".
Bottas resides in Monaco and is a fan of American punk rock band The Offspring.
Other ventures and philanthropy
Bottas co-owns coffee roastery “Kahiwa Coffee Roasters” in Lahti, Finland.
In 2017, Bottas launched the Valtteri Bottas Duathlon, an annual sporting event held in Finland. Bottas uses the Valtteri Bottas Duathlon to raise money for charity and various good causes.
- Sky Sports Award for Most Improved Driver 2014
- Confartigianato Motori Driver of the Year 2017
- Lorenzo Bandini Trophy 2018
- DHL Fastest Lap Award 2018
- AKK-Motorsport Driver of the Year 2019
Racing career summary
|2007||Formula Renault 2.0 NEC||Koiranen Bros. Motorsport||16||2||2||3||6||279||3rd|
|Formula Renault UK Winter Series||AKA Cobra||4||3||0||1||4||0||NC†|
|2008||Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0||Motopark Academy||14||5||7||4||10||139||1st|
|Formula Renault 2.0 NEC||14||12||13||12||12||365||1st|
|2009||Formula 3 Euro Series||ART Grand Prix||20||0||2||1||6||62||3rd|
|British Formula 3 Championship||4||0||0||0||1||N/A||NC†|
|Masters of Formula 3||1||1||1||1||1||N/A||1st|
|Macau Grand Prix||1||0||0||0||0||N/A||5th|
|2010||Formula 3 Euro Series||ART Grand Prix||18||2||1||4||8||74||3rd|
|Masters of Formula 3||1||1||0||0||1||N/A||1st|
|Macau Grand Prix||Prema Powerteam||1||0||0||0||1||N/A||3rd|
|2011||GP3 Series||Lotus ART||16||4||1||3||7||62||1st|
|British Formula 3 Championship||Double R||3||1||0||1||1||17||17th|
|Macau Grand Prix||1||0||0||0||0||N/A||NC|
|2013||Formula One||Williams F1 Team||19||0||0||0||0||4||17th|
|2014||Formula One||Williams Martini Racing||19||0||0||1||6||186||4th|
|2017||Formula One||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||20||3||4||2||13||305||3rd|
|2018||Formula One||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||21||0||2||7||8||247||5th|
|2019||Formula One||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||21||4||5||3||15||326||2nd|
|2020||Formula One||Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team||17||2||5||2||11||223||2nd|
|2021||Formula One||Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team||Lua error in Module:Math at line 517: attempt to call field '?' (a nil value).||Lua error in Module:Math at line 517: attempt to call field '?' (a nil value).||Lua error in Module:Math at line 517: attempt to call field '?' (a nil value).||Lua error in Module:Math at line 517: attempt to call field '?' (a nil value).||Lua error in Module:Math at line 517: attempt to call field '?' (a nil value).||title="" style="background: /* */##FFF; color: /* */##000; text-align: auto;"| 4th|}
† As Bottas was a guest driver, he was ineligible for points.
Complete Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)
Complete Formula 3 Euro Series results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)
† Driver did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed over 90% of the race distance.
Complete GP3 Series results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicates fastest lap.)
Valtteri Bottas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.