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Bottas to contest Arctic Lapland Rally in WRC debut

Written by  Dec 12, 2018

Valtteri Bottas has announced he will make his World Rally Championship debut as he competes in the Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland next month.

The Finn will become the fourth current Formula 1 driver to try his hand in the series with Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica both completing full seasons, albeit Kubica in the lower WRC2 category, while Carlos Sainz, son of two-time WRC champion Carlos Sainz Sr., drove the VIP course car at the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally.

Bottas will drive an M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS and will have Timo Rautiainen as his co-driver, the man who guided Marcos Gronholm to two WRC titles in 2000 and 2002.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally car," the Mercedes F1 driver told Formula1.com.

“Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving.”

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Rautiainen then spoke of the challenges facing Bottas ahead of the event which takes place between January 24-26.

“In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers but, this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge," he commented.

“I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.

“The challenging part, of course, will be learning the ins and outs of pace note making and learning to drive with pace notes all at once.”

Following a tough 2018 F1 season which saw Bottas fail to win a race, this will certainly be one way to forget and move on.

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