Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas will make his first appearance in the Race Of Champions in the snow and ice-based 2022 edition of the event.
Bottas, who will move from Mercedes to Alfa Romeo at the end of the current F1 season, will contest the individual portion of the competition and represent Finland alongside a yet-to-be-confirmed team-mate in the Nations Cup.
Traditionally an end-of-year invitational event with head-to-head races on stadium asphalt, the Race Of Champions will run its first-ever ice-based edition on a purpose-built course on the frozen Baltic Sea at Sweden’s Pite Havsbad.
“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 Johnson.
The Race Of Champions features a variety of cars, with it determined at random which type of machinery each given heat is contested with.
So far, a pair of rallycross cars and a GT4 Porsche have been confirmed for the 2022 event.
Bottas has fairly extensive recent experience in snow-based competition, having contested the Arctic Lapland Rally in Finland for three straight years since 2019.
“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,” said Bottas.
Among those already confirmed for the February 5-6 event alongside the Finn are Race Of Champions regulars Tom Kristensen, Mattias Ekstrom and Petter Solberg and nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb.