Valtteri Bottas is a Finnish Racing driver currently racing in Formula One with Mercedes. Having raced in 156 races Valtteri has won 9 races and achieved 16 pole positions in his career. Racing for Mercedes, Valtteri was the Runner-up in the 2020 season behind Lewis Hamilton.
Valtteri was born in Nastola, Finland on 28 August 1989. His father owns a small cleaning company, and his mother is an undertaker. He was educated in Heinola and served in the army briefly under the rank Lance Corporal.
On 11 September 2016, Bottas married his long-time girlfriend, Emilia Pikkarainen, a fellow Finn and an Olympic swimmer at St. John's Church in Helsinki. They were in a relationship since 2010. On 28 November 2019, Bottas and Emilia announced their separation and divorce. Bottas is currently in a relationship with Tiffany Cromwell, an Australian Professional Cyclist, and resides in Monaco.
Bottas repeated the feat of Filipe Albuquerque when he won both the Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup 2008.
He moved up into the Formula Three Euroseries for the 2009 season and competed for reigning champions ART Grand Prix. Despite not winning a race, Bottas set two pole positions on his way to third in the championship. 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 graduated as a test driver for the Williams Formula One Team and would continue to do that in 2011 and 2012.
In 2011 Bottas competed in the GP3 Series with ART Grand Prix and secured the title by beating James Calado in the penultimate race.
Formula One Career
After a year on the sidelines, Bottas finally got his turn in the Williams seat in 2013 alongside Pastor Maldonado. In one of his breakthrough performances, Bottas qualified 3rd on the grid in the Canadian Grand Prix 2012 and finished the race in 8th to secure his first points of the season. Bottas ended the season out-scoring his teammate and Felipe Massa was confirmed to replace Maldonado in the next season.
In 2014, the change of regulations helped Williams slingshot their way to the front of the field. Having Mercedes engines that were the class of the field by some margin helped the team to fight for podiums on a consistent basis. Bottas was able to achieve his first podium at the Austrian Grand Prix as he finished 3rd behind Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Bottas was able to put together some great drives throughout the season as he bagged multiple podiums and finished the season 4th in the overall standings.
In 2015, it was more of the same for Bottas and Williams was able to maintain its position in the pecking order and would consistently challenge for podiums. Bottas would beat Massa, the more experienced teammate yet again, and finish the season 5th with two podiums in the bag.
2016 saw a massive drop in performance for Williams as it dropped down the pecking order. Many teams including Red Bull, Ferrari, and Force India were able to leapfrog them in the standings. Bottas on his part was able to sneak a podium at Canada as he finished 3rd in the race and ended the season 8th in the standings.
Things changed for the better though as Bottas was signed up by Mercedes for the 2017 season alongside Lewis Hamilton.
Following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement Valterii Bottas was signed by Mercedes for the 2017 season to partner Lewis Hamilton. At the 2017 Russian Grand Prix Bottas clocked the first win of his Formula One career as he was able to hold off Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen for his first-ever victory. Bottas managed to win two more races, one at Austria and the other at Abu Dhabi to end the season 3rd in the championship, perilously close to Sebastian Vettel in 2nd.
Bottas had a relatively poor 2018 season as despite driving Mercedes, the fastest car on the grid he finished 5th in the standings and was unable to secure even a single victory throughout the season. Although Bottas’ early-season form secured him a drive at Mercedes for the next season, the pressure was mounting on the Finn to deliver.
2019 saw marked improvement in form as Bottas won 4 races and finished runner-up in the Mercedes to his teammate Lewis Hamilton. Bottas won the very first race of the season in Australia but Lewis took over from the second race of the season and never looked back. Bottas was unable to match the consistency of his illustrious teammate as Lewis notched up another championship triumph.
The 2020 season saw Bottas start emphatically yet again with a victory in the very first race of the season but yet again would fade away throughout the season. Bottas was able to compete with Lewis Hamilton and beat him on Saturdays in qualifying but he was just no match for him on Sundays as Hamilton would streak away every time. Bottas finished the season 2nd in the standings but with just 2 victories to his name, the same number that Max Verstappen was able to achieve in a much slower Red Bull. Bottas is signed to race for Mercedes in the 2021 season with pressure mounting on him since the emergence of George Russell.
- 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
Father: Rauno Bottas
Mother: Marianne Välimaa