Valt­teri Bot­tas

F1 Racing - - YOU - WORDS

What he lacks in lo­qa­cious­ness he makes up for in speed – but de­spite your best ef­forts, he’s res­o­lutely tight-lipped about a fu­ture with Fer­rari

PHO­TOS Like so many Fin­nish rac­ing driv­ers, Valt­teri Bot­tas is a man of de­cid­edly few words. He scans the deck of cards, upon which are in­scribed the ques­tions that you, the read­ers of F1 Rac­ing, have sent in for him to an­swer. His look sug­gests he’s won­der­ing how quickly he can rat­tle through them. Un­like his team-mate Felipe Massa, who can quickly be­come very an­i­mated when talk­ing about a sub­ject, Valt­teri re­mains cool, clipped and to the point at all times.

We’ve met up with Valt­teri out­side the Wil­liams hos­pi­tal­ity unit in the Rus­sian Grand Prix pad­dock, on a day bathed in warm sun­shine.

At one point this sum­mer, the F1 ru­mour mill had Bot­tas denitely mov­ing to Fer­rari for 2016, re­plac­ing com­pa­triot Kimi Räikkö­nen. But when Kimi was conrmed for one more year in red, Wil­liams swiftly an­nounced that Bot­tas, too, would be stay­ing put, for a fourth sea­son. For a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of only 5.4 mil­lion, it’s quite a feat to have placed two of its sons with top F1 teams. Which is some­thing Valt­teri tack­les head-on as he picks up the rst ques­tion card… Fin­land pro­duces F1 world cham­pi­ons and other very suc­cess­ful driv­ers, de­spite its small pop­u­la­tion. Any ideas why? Jan Kr­waw­icz, UK That’s the one ev­ery­one asks and it’s very tricky for me to an­swer. I think our men­tal­ity is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent from some other coun­tries, as we are kind of lonely. What I mean is that we don’t mind be­ing alone and we do things as we see best and I think that helps in rac­ing. Plus, the com­pe­ti­tion in kart­ing in Fin­land is at a very high level. I re­mem­ber rac­ing when I was six or seven and there were a lot of very good driv­ers. Back then, if you wanted to win you really needed to work hard at it.

If you could lis­ten to only one mu­sic al­bum for the rest of your life, which one would you choose and why? Gergely Jaksa, Hun­gary It would have to be The Off­spring al­bum, Amer­i­cana, be­cause I’ve been lis­ten­ing to that since I was a kid and, as time has gone on, it’s al­ways come back onto my playlist. So that’s an easy choice really.

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