Bottas began his career karting for the PDB Racing Team before moving to Formula Renault at the age of 17. Competing in the European Cup, he won two races. In the following year, he won both the Formula Renault Eurocup and the Formula Renault Northern European Cup, winning 17 races.
With this record behind him, he was promoted to the Formula 3 Euroseries. Despite failing to win a race in 2009, he came 3rd overall. Competing in the masters of F3 event, he got fastest lap, pole and the race win – a victory which he claimed again in 2010. He finished third in Formula 3 again in 2010.
Then signed as the Williams test driver in 2010, he completed 15 practice sessions throughout the next 2 years.
Switching to GP3 in 2011, Bottas won the title with 4 race wins. Impressive performances in practice sessions for Williams in 2012 saw him get a race seat for the team in 2013. Unable to score any points until the last race, Bottas struggled in the uncompetitive car. However, these four points saw him finish higher in the Championship than teammate Maldonado. When Maldonado left the team at the end of the 2014 season, Bottas found himself alongside the experienced Felipe Massa.
Despite a competitive car in 2014, Mercedes’ dominance prevented him from claiming his first victory. However, consistent points finishes and multiple podium appearances saw him end the season in 4th overall; in front of his teammate Massa in 7th. 2015 was a strong year for the team, beating Red Bull to third in the championship, however they were leapfrogged by Ferrari. In a strong season, Bottas claimed two podiums and finished ahead of Massa for the season year in a row.