At a time when the fastest lap, pole position, a belter of an overtake in the dying moments of a race, or better yet, the race win itself make dominant headlines, the headlines that Valtteri Bottas is currently making are anything but Formula 1-related.
That’s when he’s been doing a hell of a good job for his Alfa Romeo racing team.
Recently, a few hours ago, the person from the Formula 1 realm that was trending on Twitter, in particular, was Valtteri Bottas.
He hadn’t won a race for sure.
We know it.
One wasn’t referring to a blazing fastest lap of his from his pre-Alfa Romeo, i.e., Mercedes racing days. Nor was one talking about the “what he had for breakfast for the Australian GP in the past (2019).”
There was no sign or drop of porridge anywhere; rather interestingly, the fact that Lewis Hamilton was clicked next to a photograph that showed Valtteri Bottas’ nude bum (whilst swimming) with the Finn right next to the seven-time world champion made massive headlines.
A day prior to receiving a copy of that very picture, Bottas’ swimming bum was astonishingly successful over Instagram.
But, do you know something?
It makes perfect sense as to what relating to Bottas is trending at the moment.
For the vile critics and Bottas-bashers, the lot that was quick to rule that the Finn’s career was over with his exit from Mercedes, Bottas’ performances have left a naked bum on their face from what one has seen in 2022 so far.
And now, it is up to them to do whatever they wish to, for on his part, Bottas can gas it hard!
In a sport that is so eternally steeped in the performances of the men who dominate the proceedings or, largely speaking, hang out at the front of the grid, the likes of Tsunoda, Ocon, Bottas remain under the radar.
And that’s not really owing to a lack of performances, but rather given the fact that the news flashes and blazing headlines stay eternally committed to table toppers.
Where it stands at the moment, with six races done, then taking measure of Valtteri Bottas would perhaps prompt readers to take a quiz whose title would read, “Did you know.”
That’s because one will be compelled to ask, “Did you know” Valtteri Bottas is even ahead of the likes of Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo?
And that’s in that very order!
Just that many may not have given it any particular, let alone detailed, attention.
What we, whether the purists, racing nerds, F1 number crunchers or journos have paid attention to concerning Bottas, at the most- is that meme, where Bottas in a frame can be seen turning behind to see what lies at the back with the next shot being that of his smiling face.
Truth be known, even that meme has been overdone.
But what hasn’t, at all, in fact, is the reportage on performances that deserve far more media space than they’ve been given.
Drives like the P6 at the recent Spanish Grand Prix, where not for the first time Valtteri Bottas outperformed his teammate Zhou.
There wasn’t an awful lot dedicated to his fine drive at the Miami Grand Prix, where the driver of car#77 drove home six valuable points for his Alfa Romeo.
He had scored a seventh.
As a matter of fact, that Valtteri Bottas achieved a personal-best finish of P5, and that too, at the twisty Imola track, home to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, was vastly under-reported.
That’s when the silently focused Finn’s drive also brought Alfa Romeo their best performance in a race so far.
What should be given more attention, over and above the naked swimming bum of the Nastola-born, is the fact that Bottas has finished 5 out of 6 races in points and has only endured a solitary DNF so far.
But hang in there; there’s more to Bottas than the normal human eye habitually eschews.
At the Australian Grand Prix qualifying, where Bottas failed to make it to Q3, put an end to what was, until such time, a stellar run in qualifying events.
Up to that point, the Finnish driver had put a Formula 1 car in as many as 103 consecutive Q3 rounds.
That’s a record that the likes of a Vettel, Button, Raikkonen or Alonso would like to scale-wouldn’t they?
So as the famous Alfa male reaches the Monaco Grand Prix, a venue where not one of his 10 race wins have come, also the place where he retired last year (lap 29) owing to a wheel-nut issue, Bottas will be committed to cross the finish line but in points.
For that is what the Hinwil-based outfit will ideally desire from the man. And he can get it done.
The season is still fresh. These are early days. Can’t we bum all the nonsensical charades Formula 1 often ties its stories to and just focus on the man to whom the now-famous bum belongs: Valtteri Viktor Bottas?