Current Valtteri Ballast

…….and finally Williams confirm that Valtteri Bottas will be in the race seat for the 2013 season. As I’m seen on here as his biggest fan I thought I better get an article written and a thread started for the lad.

Born 28th August 1989 in Nastola Finland he currently resides in Oxford. His single seater career started in 2007 with a 3rd place in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series, he followed that up in 2008 by winning the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series and the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup series. In 2009 he stepped up to the Formula 3 Euroseries coming 3rd but winning the Maters of Formula 3 one off race a feat he was to repeat in 2010. 2011 was the year he suddenly jumped to everyones attention when he cruised to the GP3 championship and spent the whole season as Williams test driver impressing big time in the 2011 Abu Dhabi young drivers test by setting pretty competitive times in a car which wasn’t viewed as very quick. He was so impressive he put himself in the running for the Williams F1 seat but in the end the team went with bringing in the funds of Bruno Senna but satisfied Bottas with a contract which made sure he got plenty of running in the car on a Friday morning something that he grabbed hold of with both hands.

Not running in any other series meant Valtteri was concentrating completely on his job as Williams and a lot of essential team members at Williams have come out and said how much help he has been at setting up the car, which seeing as the Williams was a far better car this year can only be seen as a plus for him. A year doing test stuff must have been frustrating but in the long run I actually think it might be a big plus for him as he’s had a whole season of watching and learning how a technical team like Williams work and will certainly have a lot more knowledge of set up and how an F1 team works than the majority of rookies coming in. Of course its helped even more that he’s impressed in his Friday morning sessions, keeping pace with Maldonado on nearly every occasion and beating him on a fair few. This has of course lead to complaints from Bruno Senna about how he is not as quick due to not getting enough time but I can twist that round on itself because Bottas had even less time yet seemed to be able to jump in the car and be on the pace. What can he do with a full weekend in the cockpit? I guess we’ll see.

So we’ve seen he has pace, we’re told he had technical know how, and his junior career shows he knows how to win so it all looks good but having said that a lot of drivers have looked good and not been able to translate it so the proof is in the pudding as they say. So why have I championed him so much? Well to me Williams are a big team and should act like a big team. They got their Renault engines back and showed they can still design a car and produced a race winning one for 2012 and I can’t help but feel if their driver selection had been more about talent than funds we’d have seen them finish a lot higher up in the championship. Maldonado is a winner, he has pace, he just needs to calm down. I couldn’t say the same for Senna, so when you see a talented youngster who is obviously quick but has no financial backing whatsoever I can’t help but root for Williams to take a gamble on bringing him in.

So now we know he’ll get his shot and we’ll see whether he can match the faith shown in him. Lets also hope that Williams give him a car to show us he has talent. The second rookie on the grid for next year and this is the first rookie for a while that’s come in on talent with very little financial backing something I think Formula 1 could do with more of.

So before he turns a wheel what do we thing? The next flying Finn or the worst Scandinavian since Magnuersen?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Let me redefine nice guy then. Senna was a good bloke with charity etc etc but he also took out Alain Prost fir a title win with no regard for if he got hurt which equals not nice guy on the track. Most champiins have that ruthless streak. I kinda wonder if Bottas has.

Mika I'll take although he made sure he was always favoured ovee DC. Damon Hill?
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
They are all arseholes on track and nice guys off track - even Montoya, met him once and he was a pussycat.

The nature of the game is competition and that breeds determination, and sometimes aggression. The trick is to channel that drive and produce optimum results rather than be a complete and immature dick! :)
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
He might now win races or championships this year but I think Bottas is a shoe in for the "Driver who's girlfriend is on camera most" award. I think I've seen more of her smiling and waving in the garage in the four sessions we've had so far. FOM do seem to love her, maybe she should negociated for a share of the TV money.

Having said that as she is a sporting star star in her own right rather than the usual model/wag and as she's very pleasent on the eye I'm not going to complain. Actually as a swimmer she might be quite useful advisor in quali right now.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Nice one Valteri I always knew you had it in you. He did spend a year as test driver last year and not racing so maybe its taken him a little while to sharpen up again. Not sure he'll hold the spot in the dry but his target has to be a points finish.

So cue lots of shots of Bottas GF in the garage smiling with headphones on during race coverage (Unless Jennifer Lawrence is there in which case she wins the A list hottie to have pointless TV shots of award).
 

Bleu

Podium Finisher
His girlfriend is quite rarely in the races due to her own career. She was in Monaco and also in Melbourne where she "co-incidentally" had her own training camp just before F1 was there.
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
... nevertheless, they (and she) must be somewhat of a distraction. Perhaps she should become his Pussycat Doll so that she can share the blame for any Bottas poor performances. :D
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Seems to me he's been driving a shopping trolly all year.

We did see a flash of it in quali at Canada and beating Maldo should not be under estimated but yes I have to say I expected more from a guy with a lot of potential.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
A bit harsh I think.

Bottas has shown potential. He's been the better Williams driver this season, qualifying ahead more often than not and the same in races. Admittedly Maldonado has the single point that separates Williams from Caterham and Marussia, but that's just one race. Don't forget he is a rookie, against a guy in his 3rd season of F1.

Nearly forgot to mention that qualifying performance in Montreal!

Tied with Bianchi for best rookie IMO.
 
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