Valtteri Bottas left confused by weird £42k success of bum picture

Formula One driver Valtteri Bottas has admitted he has been left confused by the 'weird' success of a limited edition print run of a bare-bottom photo that went viral following the Miami Grand Prix.

The Alfa Romeo F1 driver remained in the United States following the inaugural event in Miami, taking time to travel with his partner Tiffany Cromwell, a professional cyclist. During his travels, Bottas went for a dip in a stream in Aspen, Colorado and posted a picture with his bare-bottom peeking out of the water, which went viral and led to a fresh idea that left the experienced Formula One racer confused.

After causing a stir on social media, Bottas partnered with photographer and creative Paul Ripke to do a special one-day-only run of prints of the photo to raise money for charity – and it was a huge success, with over 5,000 images sold.

The sales raised more than €50k (£42k) for charity but Bottas was left confused by the success of the stunt and, when asked how he felt that 5,000 people owned a picture of his backside, he admitted it was 'weird'.

“I still haven't signed any, maybe in autograph session tomorrow, maybe I'll see some," he said. "I was seeing some photos of people taking pictures, some have it in their living room or kitchen or bedroom. What is incredible that that's like the power of social media. Like we got €50,000 for charity in 24 hours with a picture of somebody's bum like this. It's crazy. I don't quite get it. But, you know, we make good.”

Bottas explained that his partner had taken the picture, with Ripke doing the editing and helping to put together the idea of the print run and raising money for charity.

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“The next day we decided we'd like to print something for charity, and we decided to do it. And then it just went like boom.” However, despite the success, he doesn't believe there will be any further products with the image, saying those who did purchase were 'very lucky'.

The Finnish driver has enjoyed consistency since leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo, with top-ten finishes in five of the six races so far this season – with his highest finish being fifth at Imola.

Those results have put Bottas eighth in the Driver's Championship with 38 points, just eight behind former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and vastly more than current colleague Zhou Guanyu, who has just a singular point this season.

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