- Image: XaviYuahanda, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Valtteri Bottas will take part in next year's Race of Champions

He joins a star-studded list of drivers including Tom Kristensen, Petter Solberg, Sebastian Loeb and Travis Pastrana

After a short absence due to COVID-19, the Race of Champions will be back early next year in a new "Snow + Ice" format. It'll be held in Sweden on a circuit built on a frozen section of the Baltic Sea at Pite Havsbad, just 60 miles away from the Arctic Circle. Quite a few big names have already been confirmed for the event including 9-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, rally and rallycross legend Petter Solberg, his son Oliver Solberg, multiple-time WRC champion Sebastian Loeb and Travis Pastrana. The latest of those big names to join is Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas, who will be competing in the event for the first time!

Bottas is no stranger to the world of rallying. He makes a yearly tradition of competing in the Arctic Rally in his native Finland, having competed in the event 3 times as of 2021. He also won the Rallycircuit Cote d'Azur at Paul Ricard in 2019 and took part in a test for Extreme E alongside Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Loeb in October 2020. His previous experience with rallying coupled with his multiple years of experience in Formula 1 (including multiple race wins with Mercedes, the team he'll be leaving at the end of this year) should make sure that he's one of the top people to watch at the event!

"Valtteri has told us since several years that he would like to participate in the Race Of Champions and we are very happy that he is finally able to make his ROC debut in our first ROC World Final on Snow & Ice," said Race of Champions President Fredrik Johnsson. "In the latest Formula 1 race in Monza Valtteri once again proved that he is one of the world’s fastest drivers. Finland has a proud history at the Race Of Champions and it will be fascinating to see how the longstanding sporting rivalry between Finland and host nation Sweden plays out. We always have a lot of very fast drivers at ROC, but the new parallel ice track on the frozen ocean will be a big x factor."

"I’m really looking forward to finally be able to compete in the Race Of Champions after watching the event on TV for many years. The fact that this year’s event will be held on snow and ice makes it even more interesting," said Bottas on getting to compete in the event for the first time. "I’ve competed in the Arctic Rally a few times so hopefully that experience will help as we aim to beat the strong competition and especially our Nordic neighbours from Sweden and Norway to add to Finland’s many wins both in the individual ROC and the ROC Nations Cup."

The 2022 Race of Champions will take place on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th February 2022, with events taking place from 12:00-15:00 CET on both days. The ROC Nations Cup will take place on the Saturday, whilst the Race of Champions will take place on the Sunday. The 2022 edition of the Race of Champions will exclusively use equipment powered by electric powertrains or sustainable biofuels. This will include the FIA RX2e, an electric rallycross car with 335 hp and 510 Nm of torque that can accelerate from 0-62 in just over 3 seconds.

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