Racing life before F1: Valtteri Bottas

Two years ago, Valtteri Bottas started his 100th F1 Grand Prix in the Chinese Grand Prix, and has since gone on to establish himself as a regular grand prix winner and potential championship contender.

Racing life before F1: Valtteri Bottas

Here, we reflect on his career before he made it to Formula 1 – and the successes that set him on his way.

2007

Valtteri Bottas, Koiranen Bros

Valtteri Bottas, Koiranen Bros

Photo by: Elliot Patching / Motorsport Images

In 2007 Bottas made the step up from karting to single seaters with Koiranen Bros Motorsport in the F.Renault 2.0 NEC. With a third place in the championship, thanks to two wins, seven podiums and two poles, it was a positive start. He was however beaten to the title by Tobias Hegewald (who stopped racing in 2011) and Frank Kechele (a Silver driver in GT racing until 2018).

2008

Podium: second place Valtteri Bottas, Motopark Academy

Podium: second place Valtteri Bottas, Motopark Academy

Photo by: Elliot Patching / Motorsport Images

Some say that: “If you want to make it to F1, you need to win championships.” Bottas started doing that in 2018 when he won two titles for Motopark Academy: the F.Renault 2.0 Euro (five wins, 10 podiums, seven poles) where he beat a certain Daniel Ricciardo. Plus he won in a dominant way the F.Renault 2.0 NEC title (12 wins & 13 poles) with 85 points more then Antonio Felix da Costa.

2009

Valtteri Bottas, ART Grand Prix Dallara F308 Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas, ART Grand Prix Dallara F308 Mercedes

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

In 2009 Bottas made the logical step to F3 with ART Grand Prix. He finished third in the F3 Euro Series without winning a race, being beaten by the late Jules Bianchi and Christian Vietoris (stopped racing in 2018). His six podiums and two poles showed good potential in his rookie year. It went better in the F3 classics too, with victory in the F3 Masters in Zandvoort, but he finished only 5th at Macau.

2010

Podium: race winner Valtteri Bottas, ART Grand Prix Dallara F308 Mercedes

Podium: race winner Valtteri Bottas, ART Grand Prix Dallara F308 Mercedes

Photo by: Satoshi Noma

The next year was more of the same for Bottas. He stayed with ART Grand Prix and won two races in the F3 Euro championship, with eight podiums and one pole position. But it was another third place in the championship, this time beaten by Edoardo Mortara and Marco Wittmann. He won the F3 Masters at Zandvoort again and finished on the podium in Macau for Prema Powerteam.

2011

Valtteri Bottas celebrates victory in the race and winning the drivers championship on the podium wi

Valtteri Bottas celebrates victory in the race and winning the drivers championship on the podium wi

Photo by: GP3 Series Media Service

Maybe he didn’t knew at the start of 2011, but this was going to be a very busy year. He entered the GP3 championship with Lotus ART and won the title in style with four wins, seven podiums and one pole postion.

That big trophy give him other opportunities: a GP2 test with the same team and an F1 test with Williams at Abu Dhabi. Over the two days of running he managed to set a 10th best time in the test.

Bottas also had some F3 outings for the Double R Racing Team. In Macau he had to retire while running in third place and he also raced in the BRDC F3 championship at Donington Park, winning one race out of the year.

The following year he would move up to Formula 1 as reserve/test driver next to Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna.

Bottas' pre-F1 career in statistics:

Year Series Standings Starts Wins Podiums Poles
2011 GP3 1 16 4 7 1
2011 BRDC F3 17 3 1 1  
2011 FIA F3 Euro   2      
2010 F3 Euro Series 3 18 2 8 1
2009 F3 Euro Series 3 20   6 2
2008 F.Renault 2.0 NEC 1 14 12 12 13
2008 F.Renault 2.0 Euro 1 14 5 10 7
2008 BRDC F3   4   1  
2007 F.Renault 2.0 NEC 3 16 2 7 2
  F3 Macau   6   1  
  F3 Masters   2 2   1

Sources:

Forix.com

Motorsportstats: https://results.motorsportstats.com/drivers/valtteri-bottas/career

shares
comments
McLaren agrees FIA inspection on Mercedes engine switch
Previous article

McLaren agrees FIA inspection on Mercedes engine switch

Next article

Belgian Grand Prix in doubt after mass events ban extended

Belgian Grand Prix in doubt after mass events ban extended
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Prime

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix...

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Prime

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022