Bottas to make rally debut in title-winning M-Sport Ford Fiesta

Valtteri Bottas will make his rallying bow at the Arctic Lapland Rally in his homeland of Finland in January.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.   -  Getty Images

Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas will make his rally debut in the M-Sport Ford Fiesta Sebastien Ogier steered to World Rally Championship victory in 2018.

Mercedes man Bottas will compete in the car at the Arctic Lapland Rally in his homeland of Finland in January.

He will be accompanied by co-driver Timo Rautiainen, who won the WRC title twice alongside Marcus Gronholm in 2000 and 2002.

"This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying," said Bottas. 

"It's totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally car.

"Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you're driving in!"

Rautiainen told wrc.com: "It's a big challenge because Valtteri has never driven in a rally before, so he doesn't know anything about pace notes.

"The biggest challenge for him will be to understand the idea of pace notes and selecting a suitable system.

"We'll look at onboard videos and the system used by different drivers before choosing, but it has to be a simple method."