Interview with GP3 Champion Valtteri Bottas

Interview with GP3 Champion Valtteri Bottas

11 September 2011 – Valtteri Bottas secured the GP3 Series crown at Monza on Saturday afternoon, having fended off Lotus ART team-mate James Calado to win the opening race of the weekend in fine style. The Finn takes time to reflect on his achievement, discussing the highs and lows of the season in detail before looking ahead to 2012...

Valtteri Bottas 2011 GP3 Series champion! How does that sound?
It sounds very good; it all went really like planned today!

Although it sort of didn’t go to plan throughout this season. Did you see this happening at the start of the year?

It was difficult to imagine that really. After Silverstone things were not looking great and each race weekend we were changing the car setup and trying to find out what was wrong.

Then finally we found the reasons why we didn’t have the perfect car and we found the speed we were missing.

GP3 is still a new category so there is not a lot of history to it, but obviously in GP2 we’ve seen before that there have been drivers who win it straight off like Hamilton and others who have taken the experience and done it on the second year. You’ve come against a lot of guys in their second year. How hard was that?

It’s tough when drivers in their second GP3 season already have a good race routine with the car; know how to handle it at race starts and how to setup the car. So at the beginning of the season it was quite difficult to be a rookie, but then as soon as I got comfortable with the driving style and how to take the start well it was no problem. I already had two seasons in F3 and two in Formula Renault - it’s still a race car.

You had your first podium in Valencia and then all of a sudden something just clicked. What do you put that down to?

Getting the tyres working! Basically we found something in the setup which we changed to get the tyres working better. That was the key really. We were not getting everything out of the tyres at the beginning of the season, but the second half was just amazing and I am so, so happy! I need to thank the team so much as they never gave up and we just kept on searching for solutions and found them together.

The team has obviously played a huge part in this. They’ve won championship and helped the driver who’s come first and the driver who’s come second. You can’t really ask for a lot more than that. How important were the team to you?

You never win the championship alone. You do it together with the team. We were team champions so this was the perfect place for me to be this season. Maybe it didn’t feel like it after Silverstone but in the end that was the right choice. I have driven with ART before for two seasons and knew that they were really professional, and if something is wrong with the car it doesn’t take them long to find the reason.

There have been a few guys who have followed the ART ladder up the ranks, how important has it been to you to stay with the same team?
I think it’s really important. It’s a great opportunity to be such a successful team, and they have a great GP2 team as well so that’s obviously a bonus. I’m very glad to be with them.

Is the next step GP2?
Yes, that would be logical but at the moment honestly I have no idea about next year.


Interview provided by the official GP3 website

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 27 July 2016

  2. 16:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany 15:04

    Haas looks to overhaul McLaren in Germany

    Haas team boss Guenther Steiner says the squad wants to enter Formula 1's summer break having gained a position in the…

    F1
  4. Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016 13:42

    Bradl to exit MotoGP at the end of 2016

    Stefan Bradl has confirmed that he will leave MotoGP at the end of the season, with a switch to the World Superbike Championship…

    MotoGP
  5. Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity' 12:50

    Pirelli: Hockenheim 'an unknown quantity'

    Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says this weekend's German Grand Prix will be "a bit of an unknown quantity" tyre-wise…

    F1
  6. Mercedes: 'Pressure on' at home event 12:02

    Mercedes: 'Pressure on' at home event

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is wary that the pressure will be on the team as it bids to deliver a strong result at its home event…

    F1
  7. Abiteboul: Renault must convert potential 11:12

    Abiteboul: Renault must convert potential

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the manufacturer must convert its opportunities into points after making a…

    F1
  8. Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace 10:28

    Alonso not expecting repeat of Hungary pace

    Fernando Alonso says he is not expecting McLaren to repeat its Hungary form at this weekend's German Grand Prix, having been…

    F1
  9. Ocon set for another FP1 run in Germany 09:15

    Ocon set for another FP1 run in Germany

    Renault test driver Esteban Ocon will receive another outing in free practice for this weekend's German Grand Prix, his fourth…

    F1
  10. Ferrari parts company with James Allison 09:04

    Ferrari parts company with James Allison

    Ferrari has confirmed that James Allison has departed the team, with Mattia Binotto installed as Chief Technical…

    F1
  11. Enerson gets IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne 08:05

    Enerson gets IndyCar debut with Dale Coyne

    RC Enerson will make his IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio this weekend after penning a deal to race for Dale Coyne. Enerson, 19…

    Indy
  12. Preview: German Grand Prix - Round 12 07:36

    Preview: German Grand Prix - Round 12

    Formula 1 heads to the German Grand Prix with a new championship leader, after Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to victory in…

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: Decoding race strategies 05:22

    Video of the Day: Decoding race strategies

    Mercedes' Chief Strategist, James Vowles, explains the 'Pure Pit Wall' which helps decode race strategies.

    F1
  14. Tuesday 26 July 2016

  15. Smedley: Williams must be 'introspective' 15:34

    Smedley: Williams must be 'introspective'

    Williams performance chief Rob Smedley has urged the team to "knuckle down" and be "introspective" in an attempt to recover from…

    F1
  16. Pirelli confirms Brazil, Abu Dhabi compounds 14:07

    Pirelli confirms Brazil, Abu Dhabi compounds

    Pirelli has outlined its compound nominations for the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. For the Interlagos round, the…

    F1
  17. Wehrlein: Mercedes to decide 2017 plans 13:13

    Wehrlein: Mercedes to decide 2017 plans

    Mercedes-backed Pascal Wehrlein says it will be up to the German manufacturer where he races next year, as he focuses on the…

    F1
  18. Video: Mercedes' Hungarian GP podium 12:02

    Video: Mercedes' Hungarian GP podium

    Mercedes Sporting Director Ron Meadows shares his podium story from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  19. Ecclestone's mother-in-law 'kidnapped' 10:24

    Ecclestone's mother-in-law 'kidnapped'

    Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Brazil, with a ransom of 120 million Brazilian Reals (£28m) demanded by…

    F1
  20. Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Fighting hard 10:02

    Alex Lynn's GPUpdate column: Fighting hard

    Williams development driver and GP2 racer Alex Lynn will write a regular column for GPUpdate.net this year, charting his on and…

    F1
  21. Snetterton honours Wilson with corner name 09:28

    Snetterton honours Wilson with corner name

    UK racing circuit Snetterton has honoured the late Justin Wilson by renaming a corner after him, active from this weekend's…

    Misc
  22. In photos: Hamilton's Hungaroring record 08:22

    In photos: Hamilton's Hungaroring record

    Lewis Hamilton set a new outright record by winning his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, moving clear of Michael…

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: MotoGP's Red Bull Ring test 05:37

    Video of the Day: MotoGP's Red Bull Ring test

    Suzuki duo Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró reflect on last week's MotoGP test at the Red Bull Ring.

    MotoGP
  24. Monday 25 July 2016

  25. Winners and Losers: Hungarian Grand Prix 16:28

    Winners and Losers: Hungarian Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton moved ahead of Nico Rosberg with his fifth win of the campaign, as the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers battled.…

    F1
  26. Video of the Day: Rosberg's Hungary blog 14:12

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's Hungary blog

    Nico Rosberg reflects on dropping behind Lewis Hamilton in the title race after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  27. Massa lapped twice during 'terrible' race 13:36

    Massa lapped twice during 'terrible' race

    Felipe Massa described his Hungarian Grand Prix as "terrible" as he battled persistent steering wheel issues en route to an…

    F1
  28. Räikkönen wins first 'Driver of the Day' award 13:16

    Räikkönen wins first 'Driver of the Day' award

    Kimi Räikkönen has been voted 'Driver of the Day' for the first time after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Räikkönen started…

    F1
  29. Palmer: Best drive of career before spin 12:32

    Palmer: Best drive of career before spin

    Renault driver Jolyon Palmer described the performance he delivered during the Hungarian Grand Prix as the best of his career to…

    F1
  30. Pérez regrets 'simple miscommunication' 11:03

    Pérez regrets 'simple miscommunication'

    Force India driver Sergio Pérez has expressed frustration at the "simple miscommunication" that he reckons cost him a points…

    F1
  31. Toro Rosso wary of McLaren-Honda threat 10:21

    Toro Rosso wary of McLaren-Honda threat

    Franz Tost has admitted that McLaren-Honda's upward trend is a growing concern for Toro Rosso, as the team looks to defend sixth…

    F1
  32. Alonso: McLaren in 'mini-championship' 09:46

    Alonso: McLaren in 'mini-championship'

    Fernando Alonso feels that McLaren is racing in another "mini-championship" behind frontrunners Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari…

    F1
  33. Wolff: Hungary result 'really satisfying' 08:52

    Wolff: Hungary result 'really satisfying'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described the team's 1-2 result at the Hungarian Grand Prix as "really satisfying", given the…

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: How to extricate a driver 05:23

    Video of the Day: How to extricate a driver

    MDD Motorsport demonstrates the process of removing a potentially injured driver from a Formula E car.

    FE
  35. 03:37

    Championship standings after Hungary

    F1
  36. Sunday 24 July 2016

  37. Nissany dominates for Silverstone double 17:55

    Nissany dominates for Silverstone double

    Lotus driver Roy Nissany dominated proceedings during the second Formula V8 3.5 race of the weekend to lead a 1-2 for the team…

    FV8 3.5
  38. 17:36

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Hungaroring

    F1
  39. Button questions radio-related penalty 17:32

    Button questions radio-related penalty

    Jenson Button has questioned why he received a penalty for radio messages that related to a brake issue in the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  40. Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium 16:39

    Vettel: Ferrari had raw pace for podium

    Sebastian Vettel rued what might have been after narrowly missing out on a podium to Daniel Ricciardo at the Hungarian Grand…

    F1
  41. Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen 16:03

    Verstappen feels he was 'fair' to Räikkönen

    Max Verstappen believes he was "fair" to Kimi Räikkönen during their Hungarian Grand Prix battle, despite the latter's radio…

    F1
  42. Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium 15:44

    Ricciardo: I can enjoy Hungary podium

    Daniel Ricciardo has vowed to "enjoy" his second podium of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the disappointment of…

    F1
  43. Hamilton says race start was 'everything' 15:31

    Hamilton says race start was 'everything'

    Lewis Hamilton says the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix was "everything" as he usurped Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg for…

    F1
  44. 14:49

    In full: Hungarian Grand Prix race results

    F1
more news