Motorsport

Mercedes Valtteri Bottas in five facts

2017-01-16 21:19
Valtteri Bottas (Getty Images)

Paris - Valtteri Bottas was on Monday named as Lewis Hamilton's new teammate at Mercedes, the Finn replacing retired world champion Nico Rosberg after being freed to join the Formula One giants by Williams.

Five facts about new Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas:

1. IN THE DEEP END

If Valtteri - Finnish for Walter - Bottas needs advice on how to cope with life alongside Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes deep end he could ask his wife, the Olympic swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen.

She was just 15 when she competed in the 100m butterfly at the 2008 Olympics.

She returned from representing Finland in the 4x100m medley relay at the Rio 2016 Games to tie the knot with her longterm boyfriend in Helsinki.

2. SIR FRANK'S GLOWING ENDORSEMENT

When Bottas graduated from Williams test driver to fully fledged F1 driver in 2013 the team's founder Sir Frank Williams showered him with praise: "Valtteri is quite simply one of the most talented young racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future."

With two second-place finishes to his name Bottas now has the chance at Mercedes to finally notch up his first grand prix win after 77 starts, all for Williams.

3. MIKA THE MENTOR

Amongst those playing a crucial role in Bottas's career is his fellow Finn, two-time world champion (1998, 1999) Mika Hakkinen.

Not surprisingly, given their Finnish link, Hakkinen is Bottas's childhood idol.

"I can imagine Bottas winning the championship," Hakkinen told a Finnish television station last week. "Of course I see Valtteri as someone who has what it takes to be champion."

4. EARLY STARTER

Bottas's racing career stretches back to the first time he stepped into a go-kart aged just six years old.

After collecting a cluster of championships over the next 11 years he made the move to cars in 2007, winning the Formula Renault 2.0 North European Cup in his second season, joining Williams as a test driver in 2010.

5. NASTOLA'S FAMOUS SON

While he now calls the millionaire's paradise of Monaco home, Bottas originally hails from the modest Finnish town of Nastola, population 14,905 at the last count and since last year merged with the adjacent city of Lahti.

Read more on:    mercedes  |  f1  |  valterri bottas  |  motorsport
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