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. Saturday 29 August 2015

  2. 16:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another 15:46

    Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another

    In 1988, after a lengthy stint as an engineer at Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team, Charlie Whiting joined the FIA's technical…

    F1
  4. 15:18

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  5. Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record 15:13

    Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record

    Marc Márquez twice broke the lap record during Saturday's qualifying session at Silverstone to secure pole position for the…

    MotoGP
  6. Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst 13:18

    Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst

    Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen says he "can understand" why Sebastian Vettel hit out at tyre supplier Pirelli…

    F1
  7. Lorenzo stays on top in third session 10:52

    Lorenzo stays on top in third session

    Jorge Lorenzo remained on top with a blistering late effort during Saturday's third practice session for the British Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
  8. GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon 08:20

    GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon

    Across 2015, GPUpdate.net has been profiling some of the most talented up-and-coming youngsters gracing the various junior…

    GP3
  9. Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact 07:46

    Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact

    Pastor Maldonado caused his own retirement from last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps with a sizeable 17G…

    F1
  10. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine 05:14

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine

    McLaren showcases how many strokes per second are produced by Honda's engine.

    F1
  11. Friday 28 August 2015

  12. Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel 16:08

    Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is "convinced" that he would have passed Sebastian Vettel for third at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  13. 15:12

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  14. Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice 15:03

    Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice

    Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo edged out Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez during second practice for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  15. Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car 14:01

    Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he "expected more" from the Williams FW37 this season, but he is hopeful that progress will be…

    F1
  16. GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions 12:02

    GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions

    Earlier in the season, GPUpdate.net gave readers the chance to quiz Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus driver Romain…

    F1
  17. Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone 10:50

    Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez topped the times during Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  18. Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge 09:36

    Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge

    Ahead of this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, drivers completed a demonstration run across San Francisco's Golden…

    Indy
  19. Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson 09:22

    Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson

    As the IndyCar circus arrives in California for the resolution of a tense and complex championship battle, the sport also finds…

    Indy
  20. Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma 07:38

    Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma

    Oriol Servià will drive Justin Wilson's Andretti car at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Sonoma in tribute to the Briton, who…

    Indy
  21. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  22. Thursday 27 August 2015

  23. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  24. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  25. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
  26. Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale 13:02

    Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale

    IndyCar drivers preview this weekend's season finale at Sonoma, which takes place under a cloud following Justin Wilson's death.…

    Indy
  27. Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg 10:42

    Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says he is "quite confident" of retaining Nico Hülkenberg's services for the 2016 season…

    F1
  28. Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions 09:37

    Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton has revealed that he has held discussions with the arriving Haas F1 Team over a potential…

    F1
  29. Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia 08:22

    Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat will showcase Formula 1 machinery in his native Russia on Sunday. Kvyat is set to get behind the…

    F1
  30. Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday 05:06

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday

    Take a look at what Lewis Hamilton got up to during his summer break away from Formula 1.

    F1
  31. Wednesday 26 August 2015

  32. Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal 14:35

    Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal

    British rider Cal Crutchlow has secured his MotoGP future until the end of 2017 after signing a new two-year deal to remain with…

    MotoGP
  33. Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone 13:28

    Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone

    Jorge Lorenzo says he sees a "great opportunity" for himself and Yamaha at this weekend's British Grand Prix, as he looks to…

    MotoGP
  34. Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview 12:36

    Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview

    Repsol Honda looks ahead to this weekend's British MotoGP Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit.

    MotoGP
  35. Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years 11:43

    Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years

    Former Marussia driver Max Chilton is certain that Formula 1 will adopt closed cockpits in the future, and expects the switch to…

    F1
  36. Feature: Belgian GP's key questions 11:21

    Feature: Belgian GP's key questions

    Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps, GPUpdate.net posed five questions and pondered the outcomes.…

    F1
  37. Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy 09:46

    Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy

    Sebastian Vettel has spoken out in defence of Ferrari's strategy at the Belgian Grand Prix, insisting that the decision to…

    F1
  38. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium 07:27

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce 05:23

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce

    McLaren highlights how much downforce is generated by a modern Formula 1 car.

    F1
  40. Tuesday 25 August 2015

  41. 18:18

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 6

    FE
  42. Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day 18:11

    Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day

    Nicolas Prost edged out team-mate Sébastien Buemi in a Renault e.Dams 1-2 on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington…

    FE
  43. 16:20

    Photo gallery: Justin Wilson (1978-2015)

    Indy
  44. Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson 15:07

    Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson

    Toro Rosso has paid tribute to Justin Wilson, who raced for the team in Formula 1 under its previous guise of Minardi, after…

    F1
  45. Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016 14:16

    Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016

    Bradley Smith has extended his contract with Tech 3 Yamaha through 2016. Smith made the step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 after…

    MotoGP
more news