© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.
In his first appearance at the RACE OF CHAMPIONS (ROC), Valtteri Bottas will be vying for the "Champion of Champions" title and representing Finland in the ROC Nations Cup team competition.
Bottas, currently running third in the 2021 Formula 1 Drivers Championship behind Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, finished second in the 2020 season behind Hamilton.
Bottas joins a growing list of premier drivers already announced, including 9-time Le Mans winner, Tom Kristensen, reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson; 9-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb; three-time winner of the ROC WORLD FINAL, Mattias Ekström; 2021 American Rally Champion, Travis Pastrana; FIA World Rally and Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg; and rising WRC star, Oliver Solberg.
Team Finland last won the ROC Nations Cup title at Stade de France in 2006.
Promoters and local officials to focus on sustainability, including exciting new electric race cars and other innovative equipment using 100% fossil-free biofuel.
ROC to be the largest event ever held in Norrbotten, and has entered into a multi-year agreement to organize ROC Snow & Ice events in this most northern region of Sweden.
Finnish Formula 1 star, Valtteri Bottas, joins the line-up of top competitors lining up for the first ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL. The 32-year-old Bottas brings a cross-discipline experience to the upcoming ROC event. Beyond his 9 Formula 1 victories, the Mercedes driver has competed in the Arctic Lapland Rally three times, recording a stage win and finishing as high as fifth overall. Bottas also won the Paul-Ricard-based Rallycircuit Cote d'Azur in 2019. "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. 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." said ROC President, Fredrik Johnsson. "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."
Faster and wider than a typical ROC circuit, Sweden's "Snow + Ice" course will be built on the frozen Baltic Sea at Pite Havsbad, just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle. Bottas will go head-to-head against a field of legends and rising stars, including a strong contingent from Scandinavia—names like Kristensen, Kristoffersson, Ekström and Solberg. "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 Valtteri Bottas. "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."
"Pite Havsbad look forward to welcoming a large number of visitors during this unique motorsport weekend in February. We have already noticed a great demand for the event and accommodation at the facility and now with additional star drivers joining, it will surely be an even greater interest on the bookings," says Tobias Lindfors owner and CEO of Pite Havsbad Group.
The individual Race Of Champions to crown the “Champion of Champions” was launched in 1988 and the first ROC Nations Cup in 1999 was won by Finland, and has become a fixture in every ROC WORLD FINAL since. Held on the first day of competition, this novel team event has created some fierce rivalries and enduring dynasties, including Germany's dominance from 2007 through 2012 delivered by multiple Formula 1 World Champions and Nations Cup team mates, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel and then in 2019 Vettel and Mick Schumacher. Finland has won the ROC National Cup title twice, the last in Paris with Heikki Kovalainen and Marcus Gronholm besting Team USA in the final.
As part of the ROC's most recent innovations, the equipment featured at the 2022 event in Sweden will mainly be powered by either electric engines or using 100% fossil-free biofuel. Cars announced to date include the FIA RX2e—an electric rallycross car accelerating from 0-100 km/h in just over 3 seconds and generating 250kW (335bhp) of power and up to 510 Nm torque. The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport will make their ROC debut alongside the SuperCar Lite rallycross machines that make their return to ROC, but this time powered by biofuel.
Schedule for the 2022 event:
Saturday 5th of February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: ROC Nations Cup (to Crown the World’s Fastest Nation)
Sunday 6th February 2022, 12:00 – 15:00 CET: Race Of Champions (to Crown the "Champion of Champions")
Additional drivers will be announced in the coming weeks and leading up to the event. A limited release of general admission tickets for the 2022 ROC "Snow + Ice" WORLD FINAL is available at Tickster. Event organizers will comply with any COVID restrictions in effect. Organizers and local officials will be providing updates with regard to any additional ticket sales and any restrictions affecting travel and local services due to COVID.