Bottas: "I'm still the same on the track"

valtteri bottas

After leaving Mercedes, Bottas has more fun off the track

Since Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes and moved to Alfa Romeo, he has been more in the spotlight for his off-track fun.

With events such as cycling tours, social media posts and even competing in a Duff Man suit at a bike race, the Finnish driver is showing off style never seen before in Formula 1.

Bottas admits that this distinctive personality was his choice and that he would "balance a bit" off-track if he stays with the team during the Audi era.

“With the addition of a big brand, we're sure to become more institutionalized,” Bottas says. “But if that brings results, it zamI don't care about the moment."

“I don't feel like I need to change myself. I am what I am. Each zamI want to be the person I am now.”

“Of course at a larger company I may have to rethink some of the things I post on social media, but as long as I can keep having fun it's fine.”

Bottas' distinctive personality may surprise some. Bottas in Mercedes had a short haircut and a relatively serious character.

Bottas argues that the environment at Sauber isn't the only reason for this change.

“I think the current situation is a combination of many factors,” Bottas says. “For example, I would never have dreamed of doing things like this in my rookie year. People would say 'what's that?'"

“But I guess once you're around a little more, you get used to things. I no longer take social media seriously. I'm so happy to make fun of myself and do that sort of thing."

“People love it, they just see a normal guy with a sense of humor. It's fun to share things like that."

Bottas says having fun off the track is positive for him.

“I am mentally fit now when I come to races, zamI'm very enthusiastic at the moment,” Bottas says. “I think if your life is F7 24/1, if nothing else, it's zamthe moment life turns into a bit of a grind.”

“I don't think I've changed at all on the track, I just continue to train with the team. We have to be serious on race weekends.”

“This side of things hasn't changed at all. Every competition and teamwork zamI took it seriously. Don't perform now zammoment."

Bottas participated in a cycling race held in Colorado during the summer vacation. He dressed as Duff Man, one of the characters of the long-running TV series The Simpsons, and won the best costume competition.

Bottas donated some of the prized beer to the audience and other contestants.

“The last 10 races are going to be pretty intense, so it was nice to take a break and just do what I wanted to do,” Bottas says. “I love seeing and exploring new places. It's my way of relaxing and of course, being a competitive person, I had to take part in a bike race, which was fun.”

“The prize for best costume was to win your weight in beer, and I really wanted to win it,” says Bottas. “Obviously, there was a mostly American crowd. So I chose The Simpsons and Duff Man.”

“I wanted to choose Homer. But I had to realize that I had to be able to bike up the hill with the costume, Homer would be too much!”