Formula 1 2013 driver profile: Valtteri Bottas

The ice-cool Finn is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his boyhood hero Mika Hakkinen in his debut season

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Team: Williams

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Nationality: Finnish
Birth date: 28/08/1989

First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2013
2012 points: NA
2012 best finish: NA
2012 championship position: NA

It might be a cliché to describe a Scandinavian as coolheaded, but all stereotypes are grounded in a certain truth and Bottas exudes a calmness that, one suspects, will serve him well in his debut season.

Having taken part in 15 Friday practise sessions with Williams last season, the 23-year-old from Nostosia, in southern Finland, should know his way around a Formula 1 car by now. That familiarity, coupled with an extraordinary single-mindedness, might just give him the edge over his fellow rookies in the paddock.

That’s probably why he feels confident enough to assert that 2013 will be a season not just for development, but one in which he will also rack up “a lot of points for the team.”

That will be a tall order for Bottas but for a man who’s been racing in some form or another since he was six years old, you wouldn’t bet against him.

Since those early karting days, Bottas has matured into a skilled driver who, in 2010, became the first man ever to win two Formula 3 Masters titles.

His boyhood hero is compatriot and two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen, and it’s safe to assume the legendary Finn would be impressed with his countrymen’s poise and determination.

It’s unlikely that 2013 will be the year that Finland delivers a fifth world champion in Formula One, but rule out the ice-cool Bottas for future glory at your peril.

2013 predictions: “Frank (Williams) has told me to feel my way in and not feel pressure. But I want to deliver the points immediately. There are so many drivers who want to get into F1. So, if you don’t do well, they will find someone who does.”

Did you know?

Bottas is going out with Finnish swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen who competed at the London Olympics but sadly failed to make it out of any of her heats.

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