‘No one is hungrier’ than Bottas says ex-boss Rumpfkeil

Valtteri Bottas is ready for the promotion to Mercedes, according to his former boss Timo Rumpfkeil - Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

One of Valtteri Bottas’ former team bosses believes the Finn is a naturally talented racecar driver and deserves his move to the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team for 2017.

Timo Rumpfkeil, the team boss of current FIA European Formula 3 and ADAC Formula 4 outfit Motopark, ran Bottas in Formula Renault 2.0 back in 2008 and won both the Eurocup and Northern European Cup titles together, and he believes he is a ‘exceptional talent’ and will surprise many with his results this season.

Bottas joined Mercedes from the Williams Martini Racing in place of the retiring World Champion Nico Rosberg, and Rumpfkeil feels there is no one better to take over the drive.

“Valtteri competed in a small team in the NEC Formula Renault in 2007,” said Rumpfkeil on Motopark.com. “At his first race in Zandvoort, he finished second in the overall ranking under very difficult conditions (drying track with slick tires), 0.2 seconds behind our driver Frank Kechele. Since then, we had been watching him. After successful tests in late 2007, we signed contracts for the 2008 season.

“In 2008, we won the NEC Formula Renault and the Formula Renault Eurocup. 17 victories, 20 pole positions, 22 podium finishes and 16 fastest racecourses speak a clear language. In that year, Valtteri beat Daniel Ricciardo and Roberto Mehri.

“A really good guy from a normal home who is where he is for one reason: he is an absolute exceptional talent and a hard worker! I believe that no one deserves more to get there or ever worked harder for his aims than Valtteri.

“He is an absolutely gifted natural talent, proves again and again mad nerve strength (or probably has no nerves at all), is technically very versed – a man who lives only for the sport. And today he is the same deep-seated guy as he was as an up-and-coming talent back in 2008.

“I am absolutely sure that “Walter” (that’s what we always called him) will shine with excellent results this season. For the first time in years, he has competitive material, and no one is hungrier for success than him.”