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Mercedes F1 Star Valtteri Bottas links up with the Lightning

Date Posted:12/02/2018

As the MK Lightning debut Elite League season reaches its peak, the Smith Recycling sponsored team are training as intensively as ever - and this week were joined by an extra skater who was just as comfortable on the ice as on four wheels (Thursday 8 February).

Valtteri Bottas from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team visited the Planet Ice MK Arena on Thursday morning, taking a break from his preparations for the 2018 Formula 1 season which starts in Australia on 25 March. 

He joined the Lightning as they were put through their paces in training by Head Coach Pete Russell, ahead of Saturday’s clash with reigning EIHL champions Cardiff Devils.

A native of Nastola in Finland, Bottas played junior ice hockey for almost a decade until the age of 15.  He enjoyed spells as a forward and defenceman as well as netminder - giving up only when he had to choose between hockey and motor racing for his future. 

And the rest, as they say, is history: last season with Mercedes he started four grands prix from pole position and won three races - along with team-mate Lewis Hamilton helping the team to its fourth consecutive World Constructors’ Championship.

The Lightning are in excellent company: in his debut season with Mercedes last summer, Valtteri joined the NHL Montreal Canadiens for a training session to refresh his skills ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix.

“It was a real pleasure having Valtteri along to join us in training,” said Coach Russell.  “We could see straight away he’s a natural and was very comfortable on the ice.  He covers the ice well and reads the game plays excellently.  We’d have been interested in signing him for the rest of the season, but apparently a team in Brackley’s got first call on him!”

“All of us at the Lightning wish Valtteri and the Mercedes team every success for the upcoming season and we hope to see him again if he wants to refresh his skills on the ice between races."

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team will reveal its 2018 car on 22 February at Silverstone Circuit.  The first race of the 2018 F1 season is on Sunday 25 March in Melbourne, Australia.

For MK Lightning tickets call 01908 540020 or online at mk-lightning.co.uk/tickets.


 

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