Formula One Month continues this week with a familiar theme. Last week I discussed a Kazuki Nakajima race-worn undershirt from his time with Williams Grand Prix Engineering. This week, I’m going to keep the Williams undergarment theme going with a look at one of their current drivers.
Born in Nastola, Finland in 1989, Valtteri Bottas finished 8th in the 2005 Karting World Cup. By the end of 2008, he had won the 2008 Formula Renault Eurocup and the 2008 Formula Renault Northern European Cup, the first driver to do that since Filipe Albuquerque in 2006. In 2009, he advanced to Formula 3, where he won the Championship despite not winning a race. That same year, he won the 2009 Masters of Formula 3. In 2010, he became a test driver for Williams, and raced in the GP3 series, claiming the 2011 Championship.
In 2013, his big break came when he got the call to race for recently re-branded Williams-Martini Racing. He was teamed with Pastor Maldonado for that season. He had some success, including stating third in the Canadian Grand Prix, finishing 8th in the United States Grand Prix, and finishing 4th in the Championship.
2014 saw Williams-Martini Racing release Maldonado and replace him with Felipe Massa. Bottas and Williams had a great season, with Bottas scoring 6 podiums, Massa scoring 3, and the two sharing the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium behind race winner and Champion Lewis Hamilton.
2015 saw a setback for Bottas, after suffering a soft tissue damage to his lower back, and was not medically cleared to race at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. This would be a bad omen for the season, as Bottas was only able to score two podiums, one at the Canadian Grand Prix, the other at the Mexican Grand Prix. Although he finished 5th in the points standings, it was clear he wasn’t as strong as he previously was in 2014.
Going back to 2014, Bottas’ best season in Formula One. That season, drivers were allowed to pick their car numbers. The number they chose would be the one they raced with for their careers. Bottas chose 77 because the 7’s look like T’s, and he could use “Bo77as” That was also the first season Martini joined Williams, and changed the car and uniforms to have a more traditional look. During that season, Bottas wore this set of Puma long-johns and balaclava. The long-johns show some light use.The collar is a Velcro-closure with a pre-2015 Experian logo screen-printed on the front. The opening extends down the front, and ends just above the last logo on the right side. The right chest features Mercedes-Benz, RANDSTAD, BP PETROBAS, and BANCO DE BRAZIL logos heat pressed into the lightweight Nomex material.The left chest features a MARTINI logo pressed into the Nomex.There are no logos on the torso, nor is there a belt. Near where the belt would be is a Puma wash tag/warranty label with V.B. written on it in Sharpie.The legs have standard cuffs, and have no adornment at all.Being a set of long-johns, there are no epaulets or adornments of any kinds on the shoulders.
The right sleeve has EXPERIAN, WIHURI, and ORIS SWISS WATCHES logos pressed into the upper arm. There are no television logos on the ends of the sleeves. The left sleeve features GENWORTH, KEMPPI, PIRELLI, and THOMSON REUTERS logos pressed into the upper sleeve. No television logs are present at the end of the sleeve. The back of the long-johns show some very light use.The back of the neck features a Puma FIA tag, and WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING logos. The back torso features RANDSTAD and Puma logos. Around the same time Bottas wore the long-johns, he also wore this balaclava. It shows decent use. BOTTAS is sewn into the material on the left side. The front of the balaclava features a Puma logo below the nose-hole, and heaving stain around where the nose and mouth area. The right side shows some use, and has a small opening in the side. The back of the balaclava has some light staining, a Puma wash tag, and a Puma FIA safety tag sewn into it. Valtteri Bottas is poised for great things in Formula One. He has the talent, he has the drive, and he has had a lot of success in racing. Next week, I’m going to discuss a pair of pants worn by the most successful driver in the history of Formula One.