Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas with co-driver Timo Rautiainen successfully completed his debut run in rallying in the 2019 Artic Lapland Rally.

In the M-Sport-run Team Flying Finn’s Ford Fiesta RS WRC, Valtteri Bottas did well in his first-ever competitive rally outing in the snowy field of Rovaniemi, Lapland in Finland. The Finn managed to win a stage and finish fifth overall with a total time of 2hr00:53.2s.

The Finn had a steady start to the rally with him being eighth and ninth in the first two stages. As he got more accustomed, he was fourth in Stage 3 and gained another place to be third in Stage 4 – it was when he broke into the Top 5 overall.

He was sixth in Stage 5 and Stage 7 while ending up fourth in Stage 6 to maintain a Top 5 position overall. The Mercedes driver finally had his first win in Stage 8 which he followed it up with a fifth place in Stage 9 – the penultimate stage of the rally.

For the final Stage 10, Valtteri Bottas ended up third – his third Top 3 stage finish – which meant he secured fifth overall as Printsport’s Emil Lindholm and co-driver Mikael Korhonen in Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 won the rally in 1hr58:54.0s.

Former F1 driver Mika Salo also took part in the rally with co-driver Peter Flythstrom in a Printsport Skoda Fabia R5. The Finn had a mixed run with a slow start but he picked up well to finish 11th overall in 2hr11:56.6s.