Valtteri Bottas to make Race Of Champions debut in Sweden
Alfa Romeo F1 driver Valtteri Bottas will make his Race Of Champions debut in Sweden on January 28-29, 2023.
The Finnish driver was set to make his debut in the 2022 iteration of the Race Of Champions but pulled out days before the competition. This season he has again planned to compete alongside compatriot and two-time F1 champion Mika Hakkinen in the ROC Nations Cup on January 28 and the individual Race Of Champions on January 29.
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Sebastian Vettel and Jamie Chadwick are among the line-up for next year's event.
"I’m really looking forward to being able to make my Race Of Champions debut at last," said Bottas. "I’ve watched the event on TV for many years and I came so close to competing last year until I had to pull out at the last minute. It was tough watching everyone having so much fun throwing their cars around on the snow and ice in Sweden, so I’m glad I will now be joining them at Pite Havsbad in January.
"I’m also thrilled to be able to partner Mika Hakkinen for Team Finland in the ROC Nations Cup. I have become good friends with Mika over the years, but it will be a special treat to be able to race alongside him.
"We’ve both taken part in the Arctic Rally a few times so hopefully that can help us beat our Nordic neighbours – and everyone else. Then we’ll have to put our friendship aside again and try to beat each other in the individual Race Of Champions. Whatever happens I’m sure we will put on a great show for all the fans watching at the track and around the world."
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Hakkinen added: “It’s great that Valtteri will be joining us at the Race Of Champions in January. I was expecting to pair up with him for Team Finland last year, so all I can say is: better late than never! I can assure him the Race Of Champions really is as fun as it looks and to race on the snow and ice is brilliant.
“As we both grew up in about the only country that’s even colder than Pite Havsbad, we should have a chance. As for the secret to success? I might tell Valtteri before the ROC Nations Cup, but only if he promises to have forgotten it by the individual race the next day…”