“Valterri is quite simply one of the most talented racing drivers I have come across and we expect great things from him in the future.” Having seen th likes of Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet all behind the wheels of his team’s cars, when Frank Williams pays this kind of compliment to a rookie, it would be interesting to see what the next few years actually do hold for young Finn Valtteri Bottas.
Following a career which began in karting at the age of six, Valtteri moved into single seaters ten years later. With Koiranen Brothers Motorsport, Valtteri took part in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series where he claimed six podiums and two victories on the way to 3rd in the 2007 final standings. That same season, he also took part in the UK Winter Series for Formula Renault 2.0. Though he won three of the four races and essentially took the championship, Bottas was not classified due to not obtaining the necessary license for the series.
For 2008, Valtteri took part in both the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Eurocup series simultaneously. From the combined twenty-eight races, he scored twenty poles, twenty-two podiums, sixteen fastest laps and seventeen victories, taking 1st place in both championships.
With a step up the ladder the following season to the Formula 3 Euro Series with ART Grand Prix, the young Finn would not take any wins but would still manage 3rd at year’s end. That same year he would claim the first of two consecutive Masters of Formula 3 races, becoming the first driver to win the event twice. 2010 also saw another 3rd place in the F3 Euro Series standings, this time with two wins and eight podiums.
The jump to GP3 was made the following season with Bottas staying on with ART (now Lotus ART). Four wins from the sixteen race schedule, backed with a total of seven podiums, saw Valtteri take another championship, his third in six full seasons of racing and his fifth when including the two Masters of Formula 3 titles.
The obvious talent already shown got the Finn a test driver seat with Williams for the 2010 season, a position which he has retained for the past three years. Now his work for the team has paid off as he will be paired up alongside Pastor Maldonado with Sir Frank’s multiple championship winning squad for the 2013 season. With Maldonado having taken a race victory himself last year and the team finishing 8th in the 2012 Constructor’s championship, great things could indeed be in store for Valtteri Bottas.