The Monaco Grand Prix is the marquee event of the Formula 1 season, which often leads to drivers pulling out all the stops both on the track, and off it.
Perhaps the clubhouse leader in the helmet category this week is Valtteri Bottas. The Alfa Romeo driver unveiled his incredible Pac-Man inspired helmet on social media Thursday ahead of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix:
As noted, the helmet was designed by Tiffany Cromwell, his girlfriend. With the cancellation of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix last week, Valtteri joined Cromwell in a cycling race in Scotland. Valtteri managed to place 114th in the UCI Gravel World Series, a 70 mile race that winds through Galloway Forest Park. As Valtteri admitted in Thursday’s press conferences, that finish placed him ahead of Olympic tri-athlete Alistair Brownlee
Cromwell, who rode for Australia in the 2020 Summer Olympics, won the women’s event.
As for the race in Bottas’ future, where he’ll be wearing his “Bot-Man” helmet, the Alfa Romeo driver believes the team’s qualifying performance in Miami showed that there are brighter days ahead.
“I think we saw a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, let’s say, in Miami in qualifying. We managed to find good setup, good rhythm and it’s shows but it is so close that once you get everything right you can actually achieve much better results than for example the race before so that was good to see and we want to keep that momentum,” said Bottas on Thursday. “We were planning upgrades for Imola so now obviously we’re trialling those here and yeah, hopefully gives us an extra boost. But we’re working as hard as we can to get where we want to be, which has not been the case so far this year.”
Still, Bottas knows the challenge that awaits on the the demanding Monte Carlo streets.
“It’s quite a challenging track, narrow, no room for any mistakes. I think in the end it’s lots of practice. We practise a lot obviously and you have simulators nowadays which can help you to get your eye in already for practice one,” said Bottas. “For sure, there are some more challenging tracks than some others but in the end it’s focus. Focus is the key issue and if you keep the concentration for each corner, each lap then you won’t make a mistake. So that’s the key.”
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