F1 2014 Driver Review: Valtteri Bottas

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Valtteri Bottas

Team: Williams Martini Racing
Car No.: 77
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums (excluding wins): 6
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 186
Laps Led: 4
Championship Position: 4th

Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)

After a difficult 2013 campaign that yielded just four points, Valtteri Bottas proved just why he was rated so highly by Williams this season, finishing the championship in fourth place and leading the team’s charge to third in the constructors’ standings.

Even at the first race in Australia, Bottas proved his star quality, passing most of the field twice en route to fifth place at the flag. His first podium finish came in Austria, having run the Mercedes drivers close during the race, and his run to P2 at Silverstone was sensational after qualifying 17th.

Mercedes was the dominant team in 2014, but it was Bottas who gave them something to worry about on a number of occasions. In Russia, he so nearly upset the odds to claim pole position. Nevertheless, with six podium finishes to his name, the Finn finishes the year fourth in the standings, beating experienced teammate Felipe Massa by 52 points.

Daniel Ricciardo may have been the biggest breakthrough star in 2014, but Bottas must be a close second. If Williams can make another step forwards over the winter, expect to see the Finn standing on the top step of the podium in 2015. We could be looking at a future world champion here.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)

Valtteri Bottas’ Australian Grand Prix this year revealed the makings of a potential World Champion, if some of his 2013 performances hadn’t been enough. After starting 15th and climbing through the field once, smacking the wall and losing some spots, then climbing back to fifth, it was apparent Bottas and Williams would be one to watch this year.

Indeed that was the case. There’d been a handful of races where Bottas impressed in the early stages but once the F1 circus got to Austria, that was when Williams really began to hit their stride. Bottas finished in the top five in eight of the final 12 races, with six podium finishes, completing a run to fourth in the final standings. Ending second at Silverstone after starting 14th has to be the statistical highlight in that run.

The thing that was most impressive to me this year was his understanding of how the expectations had changed. A year ago, the guy banked exactly one points finish – eighth at Austin – and by Abu Dhabi this year he was saying, “third is OK… for this year.” He knows the opportunity that Williams has, as one of F1’s greatest teams is on the verge of a return to its 1990s title-winning glory years, and he knows he’s the more likely of the two drivers to deliver that down the road. The torch has been passed from Kimi Raikkonen to Bottas as F1’s “Flying Finn,” and his first win can’t be far away.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.