Valtteri Bottas set for belated Race of Champions debut in 2023

Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas will make his Race of Champions debut in 2023 after being a late dropout for last year’s event.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

The 10-time Formula 1 race winner, who missed the 2022 event due to a late commitments clash, will team up with two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen to form Team Finland in the ROC Nations Cup, while also competing in the individual contest at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad on the 28-29 January next year.

The Finnish duo join the already announced line-up which includes Sebastian Vettel, Johan Kristoffersson, Jamie Chadwick plus Petter and Oliver Solberg.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to make my Race Of Champions debut at last! I’ve watched the event on TV for many years and I came so close to competing last year until I had to pull out at the last minute,” Bottas said.

“It was tough watching everyone having so much fun throwing their cars around on the snow and ice in Sweden, so I’m glad I will now be joining them at Pite Havsbad in January.

“I’m also thrilled to be able to partner Mika Hakkinen for Team Finland in the ROC Nations Cup. I have become good friends with Mika over the years, but it will be a special treat to be able to race alongside him.

“We’ve both taken part in the Arctic Rally a few times so hopefully that can help us beat our Nordic neighbours – and everyone else. Then we’ll have to put our friendship aside again and try to beat each other in the individual Race Of Champions. Whatever happens I’m sure we will put on a great show for all the fans watching at the track and around the world.”

The Race of Champions made its move to snow and ice in Sweden earlier this year, having previously competed across the globe in city locations including Paris, London and Mexico City.

Following the success of the 2022 event it will remain at the Pite Havsbad venue for 2023, racing on the frozen Baltic Sea.

The full driver line-up for the 2023 Race of Champions will be announced over the coming weeks during the build-up to the event.

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