Following a number of fellow Finnish F1 drivers – including world champions Keke Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen – Valtteri Bottas has just completed the Arctic Lapland Rally. He finished a pretty respectable fifth place in his first ever Rally drive – even managing to take a victory at stage 8, beating fellow Finn Henrik Pietarinen by just over 2 seconds.
Keeping him company throughout the event was co-driver Timo Rautiainen – the man who guided Marcus Gronholm to his two World Rally Championship titles – and together they beat the only driver with F1 experience taking part, Mika Salo.
It should be noted that Bottas was basically driving a full WRC-spec M-Sport Ford Fiesta, whereas the regular guys drove lower-powered R5-regulation cars (used in WRC2 support series). Don’t turn your nose up at that though. Snow and ice is tricky no matter what car you are in and as he didn’t bin it, you have to give him a load of credit and should give him confidence heading into the 2019 F1 Season.
The images of the event are taken by F1 photographer Jan-Erik Olin who we recently interviewed about his work with Valtteri.