Valterri Bottas: 2013 Rookie of the Year

2013 Japanese Grand Prix - Sunday

It took 18 grand prix races for rookie Valterri Bottas to open his Formula 1 points scoring account, doing so at the United States Grand Prix, in which he performed so impressively, on his way to eighth place.

He finished the season second best rookie. Perhaps there is a case for Esteban Gutierrez, the highest scoring rookie, to win this award. But the difference which swung our vote to Bottas was the fact that Gutierrez was nowhere near his more experienced teammate Nico Hulkenberg in the handy Sauber, while Bottas often got the better of his more experienced teammate Pastor Maldonado in the feeble Williams.

2012 European Grand Prix - Friday

Bottas grew in stature as the season progressed, which, coupled to his unassuming and likable personality, gave him the edge over his fellow rookies – on track and off.

Sir Frank Williams said of his young driver, “Valtteri could be super…brilliant car control, quite a small chap, very quiet – I like that. We have the highest hopes for him in the future.”

“Every Team Principal dreams of finding a young driver who has just come down from heaven specially to drive racing cars. (Ayrton) Senna was such a driver, (Emerson) Fittipaldi was like that and (Sebastian) Vettel is probably like that too.”

Formula One Testing, Day Two, Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday 16 November 2011.

“We very, very much hope that Valtteri is another one like that…we’ll see,” mused Williams.

In fairness it is very hard to judge how good the lads toiling in the back-of-the-grid Marrussias and Caterhams really are. The cars were well off the pace all season, and who shines in these bricks is difficult to tell – but by all accounts Jules Bianchi is one to watch while Giedo van der Garde was better than expected.

However, at the end of the day Bottas had the edge as far as we are concerned, and thus takes the Grand Prix 247 Rookie of the Year for 2013 accolade. Bravo young man!

Subbed by AJN.


  • terry

    The what about Jules Bianchi?

  • Snowman

    Bottas destroyed Maldonado this year, a former grand prix winner. Bianchi beat Chilton. Enough Said.

  • Daniel Ordaz C

    Esteban did come close to Nico and even beat him in some races and qualifying seasions.

  • JodyRenza

    Normally the driver that scores the most points is the Rookie??

  • Tamburello_1994

    I thought Jules Bianchi, But I can live with Bottas.

  • vincent

    i agree for all the reasons stated above i would also like to see van der garde replace maxi millions next year so we can get a better measure/look at both.

  • vincent

    bianchi v van der garde that is plus bottas v massa will be good to see

  • Zombie Jebus will eat your brain and take your knowledge

    I like Bottas and Williams, but Bianchi was the rookie that shone the most… even if he did taper off towards the end of the year.

    To me the inner team battle really doesn’t matter. Maldo is a douche who lucked into a race win the year before. Hulk would trounce all but the very top 5-6 drivers in F1 and even then they’d have a heck of a duel.

    So both Gutierrez who recovered nicely when the team seemed to finally find some pace and Bottas who was strong but not amazing aside from the Canadian Quali both earn runners up to Bianchi. All three deserve to be in F1 more than Sutil… that’s for certain!

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    1. Valtteri
    2. Esteban
    3. Jules who I see as a great driver in the future even if he is with Marussia at the moment

  • Fletcher

    I would have given to Gutierrez simply because he was a true rookie in the sense that he never actually drove an F1 car till this season where as Bottas has on friday sessions all last year. Gutierrez was up against a proven top ten driver with more experience than even Maldonado whose racecraft is suspect. At the end of the season Gutierrez was within a few tenths of Hulks times in qualifying and race pace. AND yeah he ended up scoring more points than Bottas.

  • StevetheGreat

    It’s really a toss up between Bottas, Gutierrez, and Bianchi tho Chilton really had a strong finish to the season and finished every race to boot. Gotta stick with williams though’

  • Hawk

    Gutierrez for me, for sure.

  • RobD

    Someone actually mentioned Chilton? I laughed out loud for real reading that. I would have finished every race going as slow as he was all year. Chilton couldn’t win a single race in any lower series its a complete joke that he’s allowed in F1. There should be a rule that you have to have a top 3 points finish in either Gp2, Gp3, Dtm,Indycar, formula Renault, some relevent series to even be allowed in F1. Ride buyers are sometimes a necessary evil but they should be required to at least possess moderate talent