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Bottas puts training on ice!

Valtteri Bottas trains with ice hockey team Milton Keynes Lightning

Photo: Tony Sargent © MK Lightning

With the new Formula 1 season approaching, drivers are finding innovative ways to step up their physical training.

For a proud Finn such as Valtteri Bottas, taking to the ice is second nature. As a youth, he played for almost a decade as forward, defenceman and even netminder before the third for four-wheel competition took over.

This week, Bottas found a way to get back to his Nordic roots by taking part in an ice hockey training session. He joined up with Elite League team Smith Recycling Milton Keynes Lightning at the Planet Ice MK Arena on Thursday as they were put through their paces in training by head coach Pete Russell.

“It was a real pleasure having Valtteri along,” said Russell. “We could see straight away he’s a natural and was very comfortable on the ice.

"We’d have been interested in signing him for the rest of the season," he added. "But apparently a team in Brackley has got first call on him!"

The Lightning played reigning Elite League champions the Cardiff Devils on Saturday. Unfortunately, it seemed Bottas' winning ways on the track hadn't rubbed off - the Lightning fell to an honourable 4-1 defeat.

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