From being straight on the phone to Mercedes the moment Nico Rosberg announced his retirement, to what he really thinks about Lewis Hamilton and Niki Lauda, to his talents outside the car, get to know Valtteri Bottas a little bit better on and off the track with Crash.net's quickfire '10 Minutes with...' quiz.

Crash.net
Let's start with the big one - becoming F1's newest F1 race winner...

Valtteri Bottas:
Getting the first win is something special. You always believe in yourself because there's no point being here or doing this if you don't believe in yourself, if you think that you are not able to win then definitely you should stay home. But, actually getting the confirmation, getting the actual result matters in this world. How many points, how many races you can win, how many times you be on the podium. That's the name of the game. And getting that first win, gives me confidence that I can do it even though I've always knew I had the ability. But now it's done, I just want to do it again and again!

Crash.net
It must seem a while ago now... but when did it truly sink in that you'd be replacing Nico Rosberg in a world championship winning team?

Valtteri Bottas:
When I managed to sign the contract, it was the moment I realised.... it's difficult to explain but I was obviously very happy. And then driving the car for the first time, then you actually realise that this is happening. For sure it is a dream coming true for me, driving for a team like this. Very very happy times.

Crash.net
Who contacted who initially?

Valtteri Bottas:
I was quite soon on the phone to them!

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Do you think you were first on the call?

Valtteri Bottas:
I don't know. I think I was quite quick!

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Now you're sat there with the three-pointed star on your chest...

Valtteri Bottas:
I'm very proud to be part of this team. It has done an amazing job in the last few years, but even the whole history of Formula 1 and motor racing. Now I have learned a lot more about Mercedes and Daimler, so I feel very proud, and I'm very keen to make history with the team as well.

Crash.net
Tell me about the W08 - what makes it such a formidable package?

Valtteri Bottas:
Seeing the process of making the car and seeing all the details what's behind it, how much work is behind it. I think the thing is in all the details. It's all the small details. I was smiling hard when I drove it for the first time - it was something I have never experienced before, the amount of grip, the amount of stability in the car. I was very happy after the first few laps with the car.

Crash.net
How does Mercedes compared with Williams operationally?

Valtteri Bottas:
It's a much larger team, lots more people and that means more resources, more possibilities to dig deeper into the details with everything in the car. When the team is bigger, when the resources are bigger, you can react to things quicker as well.

Crash.net
You have your first win, how about being champion in 2017?

Valtteri Bottas:
Then I will be happy!

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What's it like working with Mercedes F1 boss (and former manager) Toto Wolff

Valtteri Bottas:
He's the boss! I have known him for a long time, he was helping me with my career for a long time. He's not anymore involved in my management obviously, could be a little bit of a conflict of interest otherwise. I think he's a great leader.

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Lewis Hamilton...

Valtteri Bottas:
Driving alongside him is a great challenge, I like it. I always wanted to be alongside a very quick teammate and tough teammate. So I'm actually very happy to be Lewis' team-mate and I look forward for the rest of the year.

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Niki Lauda...

Valtteri Bottas:
Well he's a legend. Obviously a big racing hero, mega sense of humour, really funny guy. I didn't know him that well before I moved here. But he's a very nice guy. Very supportive.

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The entire Mercedes team...

Valtteri Bottas:
The welcome to the team was really warm. It was kind of very easy to get to know the team. I feel I'm not alone in this big challenge and opportunity in my career. I'm not at all alone. I feel like I have very good support from everyone and everyone wants to help me to perform.


What makes the Valtteri Bottas of 2017 so much better than the Valtteri Bottas of 2013

Valtteri Bottas:
I'm quicker! More experienced. I've definitely been in different kinds of situations on and off the track in which I've learned massively. I've learned from my mistakes. I'm not a rookie any more. I have a few years under my belt. The main thing is that I feel I'm getting quicker and quicker, and I think especially during this year.

Crash.net
If you could go back to 2013, what bit of advice would you give yourself?

Valtteri Bottas:
Good question [long pause]. I don't know to be honest. I would just say keep doing what you're doing and belief in yourself

Crash.net
Other than your win, do you have a race that you look back on particularly fondly?

Valtteri Bottas:
I think Canada last year, being on the podium with Williams. The car wasn't that great, it wasn't a regular podium finisher. So I think that was definitely one of my best races.

Crash.net
A moment you want to forget.

Valtteri Bottas:
Spinning under the safety car in China [this year]! [laughs] I would like to forget that. I forgot it pretty well already. I'm fine with it. Mistakes happen and it happened. And it's time to move on.

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First memories of motorsport

Valtteri Bottas:
Watching on TV, I think it would be 1994 or 1995. I really liked the speed. For me the guys were like heroes. And then I was playing video games, Super Nintendo. I had a Formula 1 game. That was cool. I was playing and watching every race on TV.

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Turning your first motorsport wheels

Valtteri Bottas:
It was when I first tried a go-kart in '96. I saw a go-kart race locally, and that got me excited about it, and I wanted to try one. When I got to try one, I just loved the speed and after that it became more about how to improve the lap time and all the details and that.

Crash.net
Your first win

Valtteri Bottas:
I think it was maybe my second race. First race I was third. I have the trophies still! I didn't have a big party after the race, I am sure! There was no partying... Maybe at that age I had an ice cream or something.

Crash.net
Your hometown, Nastola

Valtteri Bottas:
It's a small town, but it was a good place to grow up. Nice nature, plenty of lakes. A very typical Finnish place, quite quiet, easy-going. I still go back there, I have family still lives around there and my friends are there. I've got a place as well, a Lakehouse place. When I have a chance to go back to Finland, yes.

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Monaco

Valtteri Bottas:
It's great for training. It's very good for cycling with the hills and stuff. Running is possible anywhere. I use the stadium of the football team for the gym, it's mega, I use the stadium as well. The weather is amazing. You go there and it's always sunshine. The location is good you know. Within Europe, you can drive to Monza or Barcelona.

Crash.net
Being married to a fellow elite athlete (Finland national team swimmer Emilia Bottas, nee Pikkarainen)

Valtteri Bottas:
For me, it helps. We sometimes train together, but this is quite a tough sport because in terms of relationship, you're travelling so much and far away from home. The other person needs to understand it. You need some commitment if you want to succeed, and she definitely does. She's done a lot of sacrifices for her own career. She knows what all the training and everything is all about. To succeed you need to suffer a bit, that's how it goes.

Crash.net
Any good at swimming?

Valtteri Bottas:
I'm alright, I'm alright. For sure I've got some good tips for the technique and I have a good coach. I have no chance against her, it's just a different league.

Crash.net
Being the supporter rather than the supported

Valtteri Bottas:
It helps. Those are the most exciting things I've felt, always. I'm never nervous in here preparing for the race and qualifying and whatever, I never feel nervous. But when I'm watching her competition, that's when I'm nervous. I know how she feels.

Crash.net
If you competed at the Olympics as well...

Valtteri Bottas:
Either winter Olympics with ice hockey, or summer Olympics with shooting. I do shooting. Skeet. Or triathlon.

Crash.net
Define what 'Sisu' means to you

Valtteri Bottas:
A box of candies...

Crash.net
Oh...

Valtteri Bottas:
[Laughs] That is the name thing. It's a saying. I think Finns in general, we are quite calm and I think we're mentally in general quite strong, and we don't mind to be alone. We are lonely wolves, a lot of us. That kind of means the mental strength, the will power, that means 'sisu'.

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A weekend off

Valtteri Bottas:
With no sport? Hmmm... sometimes I need to see my wife! I do cooking, go to restaurants, see my friends, go to play ice hockey with my friends - well that's sport. Go to lakeside sauna with my friends and have a few beers, stuff like that.

Crash.net
Your signature dish...

Valtteri Bottas:
Risotto. I can do mushroom or asparagus, or pretty much anything. I'm pretty good at it.

Crash.net
What are you 'binge-watching' at the moment?

Valtteri Bottas:
Eastbound and Down, TV series. If you haven't seen it, you have to look it up!

Crash.net
What's your 10k best time?

Valtteri Bottas:
Well I've never done it as trying to make a proper result, training for it. I've always kind of done it with my training route or done it as a training. But I've done 38mins. Best so far. But I can do much better than that.

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The last 5 emojis you sent

Valtteri Bottas:
[Pulls out phone] Thumbs up, a love heart for my girlfriend, boom (fist), I went for a swim this morning (swimming man)... and a trophy for this weekend!

Crash.net
Kiitos (thanks) Valtteri!

Valtteri Bottas
You're welcome...

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