Bottas offers himself a rally debut for the new year!


Valtteri Bottas will make his rally debut next month, the Finn taking part in the Arctic Lapland Rally at the wheel of a WRC-spec Ford Fiesta.

The Mercedes driver's wingman at the three-day event that will take place from January 24 to 26 will be Timo Rautiainen, the man who partnered Marcus Grönholm to two world championships in 2000 and 2002.

"This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying," said the three-time Grand Prix winner.

"It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in!"

In preparation of his rally debut with Rautiainen, Bottas will enjoy a two-day test in the Fiesta before the event.

"It’s a big challenge because Valtteri has never driven in a rally before so he doesn’t know anything about pace notes," Rautiainen told

"The biggest challenge for him will be to understand the idea of pace notes and selecting a suitable system.

"We’ll look at onboard videos and the system used by different drivers before choosing, but it has to be a simple method."

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