Tag Archives: Valtteri Bottas

How’s he doing? Valtteri Bottas

29 Apr

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me, how did you rate him before the season started?

I expected him to pick up points and classed him as one of the most exciting new talents into F1 in a long time.

And how’s he got on so far this season?

No where near as good as everyone expected him to be, he hasn’t qualified higher than 15th and has failed to score points at every race so far.

How does that compare to his team mate?

Pastor Maldonado has also struggled to get pace out of his Williams he also hasn’t performed well in qualifying and has failed to pick up points, but Maldonado has had to retire from two races so he has got more excuses.

Since both drivers have really struggled to put in good performances in the Williams it appears that it’s more the car’s fault than anything else, but Bottas will need to really up his game if he’s to remain in F1 next season since he’s one of the few drivers not their due to financial backing.

How would you rate his performances so far?

5/10 I expected more of him and so far he’s been rather unimpressive.

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Vettel on pole but only after near miss Q1 exit

23 Mar

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Malaysia 2013

Winners:

Sebastian Vettel: Q1 – 2 races this season and 2 pole positions as Vettel cruised to pole position by a whole 0.9 seconds, but it wasn’t as simple as it appears with Vettel almost leaving qualifying in Q1 after the strategy ┬átaken by Red Bull went wrong and it was only through doing a second timed lap that he made it through to Q2 even so it left the Red Bull management shaken.

Felipe Massa: Q2 – This time last year Massa was a laughing stock and yet here he is now starting on the front row ahead of Alonso and having out qualified him for the 4th time in a row, can we now say the pre 2009 Massa is back with a vengeance and if so what’s to stop him making amends for the title miss in 2008, only time will tell.

McLaren: Q8 and Q10 – There’s definitely still a long way to go for McLaren but the team must see it as a step in the right direction to have 2 drivers into Q3 even if it was obvious that they would never take pole. With conditions set to be wet tomorrow I can see McLaren challenging for 5th place since both drivers are very accomplished in the wet and rain does seem to even out the cars.

Losers:

Paul Di Resta: Q15 – Probably should have made it into Q3 had a disastrous Q2 strategy left him out. Di Resta came in at the end of his banker lap (a lap set on tyres from the previous session so that the driver has a time even if something goes wrong) meaning he hadn’t set a time when rain came out and left him completely out of qualifying.

Romain Grosjean: Q11 – Grosjean suffered the same as Di Resta with problem of rain stopping him improving on his lap time leaving him just out of Q3. 2013 hasn’t gone well for Grosjean so far with a bad race last weekend and now this but he’s got talent and should return to the top of his game soon.

Valtteri Bottas: Q18 – It’s been a bad start for Williams so far with Maldonado out in Q1 last week and Bottas suffering the same fate this weekend the car just isn’t working like the team will have hoped and this could be a direct consequence of being the only team to miss the Jerez test.

BREAKING: Raikkonen given a 3 place grid penalty for impeding Rosberg in Q3, this means Raikkonen is now 10th whilst Button Sutil and Perez move up one place each to 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.

New kid on the block: Valtteri Bottas

30 Nov

Williams have now confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will replace Bruno Senna for 2013, so here’s some information about the young Fins history.

That name rings a faint bell, why?

Valtteri has spent this season as the Williams reserve driver and as such the young Finn has taken part in many first practice sessions over the year.

How’s he fared?

He’s had a very strong season, of the 14 practice sessions he’s competed in so far this season he’s been faster than Pastor Maldonado (one of Williams’ two actual drivers) on 6 occasions. His best performances in qualifying to date are his 8th fastest time in FP1 in Spa (although this sessions was heavily rain affected) and his 5th fastest time in FP1 in the Spanish GP.

What’s his life like off the track?

Valtteri was born in Nastola, Finland a town with a population of 15,000 and is located near the south of the country. But Bottas is currently living in Oxford here in the UK. Valtteri is currently going out with Finnish swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen.

So what feeder championships has he been through?

Valtteri is a very young driver (23) and as such only started competing in big series in 2007, so far he’s competed in:

  • 2007 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (races: 16 / wins: 2 / final position: 3rd)
  • 2007 Formula Renault 2.0 UK Winter Series (4 / 3 / ineligible due to only competing as a guest driver, otherwise he would have finished 1st)
  • 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup (14 / 5 / 1st)
  • 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 NEC ( 14 / 12 / 1st)
  • 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series (20 / 0 / 3rd)
  • 2009 British Formula 3 Championship (4 / 0 / ineligible due to only competing as a guest driver)
  • 2009 Masters of Formula 3 (1 / 1 / 1st)
  • 2009 Macau Grand Prix (1 / 0 / 5th)
  • 2010 Formula 3 Euro Series (18 / 2 / 3rd)
  • 2010 Masters of Formula 3 (1 / 1 / 1st)
  • 2010 Macau Grand Prix (1 / 0 / 3rd)
  • 2010 Started role of Williams test driver
  • 2011 GP3 Series (16 / 4 / 1st)
  • 2011 British Formula 3 Championship (3 / 1 / 17th)
  • 2011 Macau Grand Prix (1 / 0 / didn’t finish race)

As you can see Valtteri has a very impressive CV his biggest achievement being that he won the GP3 series at his first attempt. Of the 114 races Valtteri has competed in, he’s won 31, been on pole position 27 times, set 30 fastest laps and been a podium finisher in 58 races.

So he’s not new to the taste of champagne then. Could we see him in F1 in 2013?

There is currently intense speculation that Valtteri will be promoted to a race seat at Williams but this relies on Williams dropping either Bruno Senna or race winner Pastor Maldonado. If Williams don’t promote him then there’s a chance that Bottas could drive for Sauber of Force India next year.

How far is he expected to go?

I expect Bottas to score points in his debut season and I suspect Bottas will finish on the podium if not be a race winner at some point. If he’s given the right car though he could be a championship contender.