On January 28-29, 2023, Valtteri Bottas, a driver for Alfa Romeo F1 team, will make his first appearance in the Race of Champions in Sweden.
The Finnish driver was scheduled to make his debut in the 2022 edition of the Race of Champions, but he withdrew from the competition a few days before the start of the race. This year, he intended to continue his tradition of competing in the ROC Nations Cup on January 28 and the individual Race Of Champions on January 29 alongside his fellow countryman Mika Hakkinen, who has won the F1 championship twice.
Next year’s competition will feature a number of notable athletes, including Sebastian Vettel and Jamie Chadwick.
“I’m definitely looking forward to finally being able to make my debut in the Race of Champions,” said Bottas. “It’s been a long time coming.” “I have followed the competition on television for many years, and I was almost ready to take part in it last year before I was forced to withdraw at the very last minute. It was difficult to see everyone else having a good time sliding their automobiles about on the snow and ice in Sweden, so I am relieved that I will be able to participate in the same activity with them in January in Pite Havsbad.
“In addition, I couldn’t be more ecstatic to have the opportunity to play with Mika Hakkinen for Team Finland in the ROC Nations Cup. Over the years, Mika and I have developed a strong friendship, but it will be an incredible honor to be able to compete beside him in this race.
“We have both competed in the Arctic Rally on multiple occasions, so maybe this will give us an advantage over not only our Nordic neighbors but also everyone else. After that, we’ll have to put our friendship to the side once more and compete against one another in our respective divisions of the individual Race of Champions. Whatever the outcome of the race may be, I have no doubt that we will put up a fantastic performance for all of the spectators watching from the track and throughout the world.”
“It’s terrific that Valtteri will be joining us at the Race of Champions in January,” Hakkinen continued. It was my hope that I would be able to work with him on Team Finland the previous year; all I can say is that it’s better late than never. I can assure him that the Race of Champions is actually just as much fun as it appears to be, and that competing on snow and ice is a fantastic experience.
Because you and I are both from perhaps the only country in the world that is colder than Pite Havsbad, we ought to have a fighting chance. What exactly is the key to becoming successful? I could tell Valtteri before the ROC Nations Cup, but only on the condition that he guarantees he won’t remember it by the time the individual race takes place the following day.
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