BOTTAS BAGS THE TOP JOB
Valtteri Bottas on securing the most coveted drive in F1 and how he plans to make the most of his opportunity to prove himself against Lewis Hamilton in equal machinery
SOMETIMElast year, F1 Racing’s principal photographer, Steven Tee, shared a gem of a tale relating to a particular TV show that had made him laugh so hard as he watched in the gym that he “almost fell off the cross-trainer”. This delightful image has brought considerable joy in recent months to those of us who know Steven well and it came to mind in conversation with Valtteri Bottas, when F1 Racing enquired how he’d heard the bombshell news of Nico Rosberg’s retirement on 2 December last year.
“I was in the gym in Abu Dhabi,” he relates. “We’d stayed out to do a few days’ testing with the old car, and Antti Vierula, my trainer, got a message about the news. Of course, it was surprising, for everyone, but into my mind came: ‘Someone needs to replace him, and I wonder who it’s going to be?’”
Granted, this wasn’t quite a ‘fall-off-the-cross-trainer’ moment, but the news did pull Valtteri up short. With a drive on offer at the best team in F1, there were suddenly more important things to do than nish his workout.