Singapore F1 Week: 10 minutes with Valtteri Bottas

With the Singapore GP qualifiers getting into gear today, we spent 10 minutes with the Williams F1 driver and he spills on his racing, his heroes and his tech

On starting out in competitive racing

I actually started with go-karts. I was about 5 or 6 years old when I first saw a a go-kart race near my home and that got me really excited.

After I finally raced in one, I knew that this was what I wanted to do and I made being a F1 driver my target. I went on to do 10 years in the go-kart circuit and I continued on for two years in the Formula Renault followed by another two years in Formula 3 and one year with the GP3. Eventually I was taken in as Williams test driver, where they saw my potential in and I'm now one of the main drivers.

On Finland and its racing tradition

I'm proud to be following in the footsteps of Finnish racers like Mika Hakkinen, Kimi Raikonen and Keke Rosberg and I want to continue the tradition. In fact, Mika Hakkinen is an F1 hero of mine and I'm actually lucky enough to be working with him now.

Finland is a country that loves its motorsports, from F1 to go-karting. Everyone starts at a young age here and there's a lot of good go-kart tracks that we can go to. It also helps that we're generally pretty calm in most situations which really plays a good role while we're driving competitively.

On the tech that he likes and his games

I used to think I couldn't live without my iPhone but one time, it got stolen and I found that I actually enjoyed the peace and quiet that it gave me. I don't really have anything in mind for the next few months and usually will make purchases in the airports if something catches my attention.

I do like a good Bluetooth speaker and I usually use one during a race weekend to play some music to get me into the mood. The music usually varies and it really depends on what mood I'd want to get myself into. For this Singapore race though, I'm planning to listen to something a bit more relaxing since it's going to be an intense and long race and I don't want to get too stressed out. 

I've also played the F1 games on the console and though there's still quite a difference between that and real racing, it seems to get better and better with each version. I actually enjoyed playing F1 2012 and am looking forward to the 2013 version.

And if he weren't racing?

I would most likely have been an ice hockey player since I was playing competitively for about 10 years when I was younger in Finland.

You can catch Valtteri Bottas in today's qualifiers and tomorrow's finals or follow him on Twitter.