|Born||August 26, 1989||Nationality||Finnish|
|Team||Williams||F1 Debut||Australia 2013|
|Career statistics to end 2012|
|Pole Position(s)||-||Fastest Lap(s)||-|
Heikki Kovalainen may be gone, but Finland still has two F1 players as 23-year-old ‘Vale’ continues his development with one of the oldest names in the sport.
Like Gutiérrez at Sauber, Bottas has been three years in the making at Williams after a superb apprenticeship in single-seater racing cars.
A long grounding in karts led to the Formula Renault two-litre class in 2007 and 2008, where he took no fewer than 17 wins from 28 starts before moving up to the F3 Euroseries with the highly-regarded ART team in 2009.
He spent two years in that class and won the F3 Masters in both seasons, being named as the Williams test driver (in succession to Nico Hülkenberg) for 2010.
He combined that role with GP3 in 2011, when he duly won the championship, starting slowly but coming home with four race wins in the second part of the season.
In 2012 Bottas opted not to race but to focus on his apprenticeship with Williams, taking part in 15 Friday F1 practice sessions. In fact Albert Park will be one of just five venues where he has not been in the car already, which is why he is unfazed by what lies ahead.
“I’ve been racing constantly since a very young age,” he said, “so when the lights go out in Australia it will be business as usual.”
The pugnacious-looking Finn is a keen triathlon competitor and has been described by Sir Frank himself as “quite simply one of the most talented young drivers I have come across”.