Bottas' first big Formula One break


It's almost four years since Valtteri Bottas arrived on the world stage of Formula One, when he was formally presented to the media as part of the race team at the launch of the Williams FW35 car at Barcelona, Spain ahead of the 2013 world championship.

Bottas had previously won the GP3 Series title in 2011 and rather than move up to GP2 he spent the following year serving a Formula One apprenticeship at Grove as a test driver for Williams. He was duly rewarded with a chance of a full-time race seat the following season which saw him make his F1 race début at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Bottas' team mate for the year was Pastor Maldonado (pictured above with Bottas and the team's development driver Susie Wolff), himself a former GP2 champion in 2010. In 2012 Maldonado had won the Spanish Grand Prix and hopes were high for a strong season for the team in 2013.

Unfortunately it wasn't to be and Bottas finished in the points only once all year, when he crossed the line in eighth place in the US Grand Prix. But the following season was much better for the Finn, and he notched up six podium finishes including back-to-back second places at Silverstone and Hockenheim that meant he finished in overall fourth place in that year's drivers championship.

Four seasons on from making his official F1 bow, Bottas is off to new pastures this year now that his move from Williams to Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton has been confirmed this week. 2017 could prove to be a make or break campaign for the 27-year-old.