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

F1 Racing - - CONTENTS - WORDS AN­THONY ROWL­IN­SON PORTRAITS THOMAS BUT­LER

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.

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