Bottas confirmed at Williams
Valtteri Bottas has been officially announced as the second driver for Williams next season. Bottas is replacing Bruno Senna who drove an uneven season at Williams and whose future in the sport is a complete mystery at this point. Bottas has a number of accolades to his name from lower race classes, the most recent being his victory of the GP3 championship last season. It will be interesting to see Bottas in action, but Williams’ race-performance has been pretty poor for much of this season, despite Pastor Maldonado’s victory in the Spanish Grand Prix this season.
Maldonado was also previously believed to get a continuation to his contract with Williams but now it has been made official. Maldonado’s participation in F1 is backed by the Venezuelan government and Maldonado considers himself a personal friend of Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez, who much to Maldonado’s delight won the presidential election this year.
No other notable announcements have been made, though on an unrelated note, disgruntled HRT workers apparently had a drunken brawl at the team’s factory in Spain ahead of the more than likely dissolution of team. HRT is going to make an official announcement about its future on Friday. They are apparently still in discussions with two potential buyers for their team, which means that HRT may still yet survive to compete again next year (though undoubtedly under a different name).
In addition, Bottas is now the ninth Finn to drive in Formula One.
List of Finnish Formula One drivers
- Leo Kinnunen (1974): Tried out for six Grand Prixs but only qualified for the Swedish Grand Prix, which he retired from.
- Mikko Korazowitzky (1977): Tried out for two races but did not qualify for either.
- Keke Rosberg (1978-1986): Won the 1982 Championship at Williams.
- Jyrki Järvilehto/JJ Lehto (1989-1994): Achieved a podium finish (3rd) at the 1991 San Marino Grand Prix driving for Scuderia Italia Dallara.
- Mika Häkkinen (1991-2001): Won the 1998 and 1999 World Championships, making him the only Finnish double-champion. Both championships were won at McLaren
- Mika Salo (1994-2002): Achieved a podium (3rd) in the Italian Grand Prix in 1999 when he was substituting for an injured Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.
- Kimi Räikkönen (2001-2009 & 2012-): Won the 2007 Championship at Ferrari.
- Heikki Kovalainen (2007-2012/?): Won the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix at McLaren.