Bottas wins stage on rally debut

Image by Etherington/LAT

Bottas wins stage on rally debut

Formula 1

Bottas wins stage on rally debut

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While Fernando Alonso was grabbing headlines with his Rolex 24 performance, Valtteri Bottas was also picking up a victory of sorts in a slightly more low-key rally appearance.

Bottas was making his rally debut in the Arctic Lapland Rally in Rovaniemi in his home country of Finland over the weekend, driving a Ford Fiesta WRC run by M-Sport, and showed impressive pace alongside co-driver Timo Rautiainen – the man who called the pace notes for Marcus Gronholm’s World Rally Championship titles in 2000 and 2002.

The Mercedes driver picked up a stage victory on stage eight – Mantyvaara 3 – by 2.3 seconds, and also had two other top-three stage finishes in an impressively consistent performance that saw him finish every stage in the top 10.

The end result was Bottas finishing fifth overall, a little over two minutes adrift of winner Emil Lindholm over the 10 stages.

Bottas wasn’t the only F1-related name taking part in this weekend’s rally, with former Ferrari driver Mika Salo – now often an FIA steward at grands prix – finishing 11th overall, 13 minutes off Lindholm.

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