Shooting, a lot that of course AND rhythm, too, of course. But, just like that, two years after his first rally, Valtteri Bottas has already begun to forge a driver’s band along the stages compared to the one that characterizes him in Formula 1. Without doing anything spectacular, or exhibiting a devilish pace, or Riding as hard as Robert Kubica or Kimi R√§ikkonen did every time they wielded a WRC, the Finn stands out above all, also in this discipline, for complying with the record and always bringing the car spotless to the finish line; something rare, in fact, among circuit drivers trying their luck in rallying. Definitely, the Mercedes driver is not as quick and incisive as the Polish or Iceman who, for that very reason, were regularly stoked.

But, so far, yes safer. This weekend, he completed his third consecutive appearance, again without a shock or a single scratch on the bodywork, in the Arctic Rally. A pure speed test through the snowy forests of Lapland – where a World Cup event will be held next month for the first time – in which he finished sixth, well-advised from the seat on the right by Timo Rautiainen, also from Finland, brother-in-law and former co-driver of two-time World Champion (the last Nordic) Marcus Gronholm.

A result almost identical to the one he signed two years ago, when he debuted – he made fifth achieved this time at the controls of a car not as fat as the Ford Fiesta WRC that he drove then: the same Citroen DS3 WRC that placed the last edition in ninth place, with which, however, it has once again been surpassed by several vehicles of the R5 category Among them, the Hyundai i20 that one of the future stars of the World Championship, Oliver Solberg, has just got on.

The sensation in this first round of the championship Suomi who finished third, reaching an absolute scratch against the Yaris WRC with which Juho Hanninen has dominated at will. The former World Cup driver for Skoda Hyundai M-Sport, and Toyota itself, to which he is still linked, has thus revalidated the triumph achieved a year ago by his brand partner, Kalle Rovanpera, at the end of a rally that has served the Japanese team to evaluate the performance on the snow of the new studded tires developed by Pirelli, official supplier of the World Championship as of this season.