Williams F1 congratulated its test driver, Valtteri Bottas, on winning the 2011 GP3 championship following another convincing win in Monza, Italy.
After claiming his maiden GP3 victory in a wet race at the Nürburgring in July, Valtteri went on to take wins in Hungary and Belgium before sealing the crown in Italy yesterday. Valtteri fought through from fifth on the grid to take the lead in the first race in Monza before holding off the charge from title rival James Calado in the closing laps to take the chequered flag and the GP3 title.
The 22-year-old joined Williams as test driver in 2010 after winning the Formula Renault Eurocup and Northern European Cup titles in 2008 and being top rookie, third overall, with French team ART, in the ultra-competitive F3 Euroseries in 2009. Valtteri remained with ART in F3 for a second season, securing two victories before moving with them to GP3 in 2011.
Standing on the top step in Monza, Valtteri celebrated his championship win in front of ART, who also sealed the Constructors’ Championship, and the AT&T Williams team.
Commenting on his title, Valtteri said: “It sounds very good; it all went really like planned! We were not getting everything out of the tyres at the beginning of the season, but the second half was just amazing and I am so, so happy! I need to thank the team so much as they never gave up and we just kept on searching for solutions and found them together.”
Of Valtteri’s title, Founder and Team Principal, Sir Frank Williams commented: “Congratulations to Valtteri on becoming GP3 champion in Italy this weekend. We were all watching as he claimed victory yesterday and we are very proud of his achievements in his debut GP3 season. Valtteri is a talented young driver and we are very happy to have him as part of our team.”