Mercedes F1 driver Bottas tests WRC leading Toyota Yaris in Finland

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas has raised speculation that he will compete in a rally again in the near future after testing a Toyota Yaris WRC on Friday

Mercedes F1 driver Bottas tests WRC leading Toyota Yaris in Finland

Bottas made his competitive rally debut aboard a Ford Fiesta WRC in January's Arctic Lapland Rally - finishing fifth overall in the snow-based event - and has since tested M-Sport's Fiesta R5.

Timo Rautiainen, who also partnered Bottas on his competitive rally debut, co-drove during the Toyota test. Bottas was wearing overalls from his previous Formula 1 team, Williams.

Toyota Gazoo Racing sporting director Kaj Lindstrom told Autosport Bottas' outing, which was at the team's permanent test site, in the Yaris was just for fun.

Lindstrom joked: "There is no contract. He was happy in the Arctic Rally, but we have the best car and he wanted to try it!"

He added: "The test with Valtteri was planned and he just drove the test car after the other guys at a road close to Jyvaskyala."

Toyota's regular drivers Ott Tanak, Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala had completed their running ahead of next month's Rally Finland and the test team was kept on for one more day.

The Yaris has won three rallies in the World Rally Championship this year in the hands of points' leader Tanak, who also won the recent Rally Estonia in the car (pictured above).

Bottas had impressed M-Sport with his pace in a Fiesta R5 when he drove it in the south of France earlier this season, and after his competitive debut with the team on the Arctic Lapland event.

WRC M-Sport driver Teemu Suninen - who gave Bottas advice before his rally debut in January - was left in no doubt that his fellow Finn could compete to a high level in rallying.

"What he did in Arctic was impressive," Suninen told Autosport.

"It would be nice to see him in another rally and good to see how he could compete.

"It's interesting to see drivers coming from other [disciplines], especially when they are some of the best in the world."

shares
comments
M-Sport Ford's Elfyn Evans to miss WRC Rally Finland with back injury

Previous article

M-Sport Ford's Elfyn Evans to miss WRC Rally Finland with back injury

Next article

Video: Will any rival WRC team prise Ott Tanak away from Toyota?

Video: Will any rival WRC team prise Ott Tanak away from Toyota?
Load comments
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021