• INSIGHT: Seven Things You Didn't Know About No.77

The 2018 Chinese Grand Prix marks Valtteri Bottas' 100th Formula One start, so we thought we'd celebrate the milestone by learning even more about our Fast Finn!

1. Corporal Bottas

Finland is one of several countries that has a compulsory national military service, where adult males over the age of 18 must serve either 165, 255 or 347 days in the Finnish army.

Valtteri completed his term in the Finnish army before he made it to F1 and holds the military rank 'Corporal'. During his service, he was voted 'Top Soldier' by his group.

2. Design Inspiration

Valtteri's first racing helmet was straight from the shop shelf but when he finally got to design his own, he took inspiration from a former F1 driver.

It probably wasn't one you were expecting, though... did anyone guess Olivier Panis? Probably not - but he liked the French driver's blue, white and red design so much, he decided to imitate it.

"I was watching all of the races on TV, and he had this great race in Monaco and also very close to that time he had a big accident and broke his legs," Valtteri explained.

"He recovered really quickly and I just thought he was a tough guy. I am a big fan of blue, too, so I also really liked his design and copied it."

3. Mischievous Moments

He may seem like a cool, calm and collected character - but Valtteri's got a mischievous streak too. One particular example is when he arrived at school on a snowmobile at the age of 12.

We don't know a massive amount about Finland - but while they're used to cooler temperatures and snowy conditions, snowmobiles don't seem like the normal way for kids to get to school.

Safe to say Valtteri got told off for his unexpected mode of transport...

4. Flying the Nest

Just three years after that snowmobile moment, Valtteri moved away from his parents to study in a new city, where he spent his spare time working as a mechanic to earn money.

In fact, Valtteri studied to be a car mechanic and even used to check his own gearbox between races sometimes when he was competing in Formula Renault 2.0.

5. Scarred for Life

It's not easy to spot - but Valtteri has a small scar on his nose from a seemingly innocuous incident back in 2007...

While testing Formula Renault 2.0 NEC in Jurva, Finland, Valtteri was in the process of removing his bag from the boot of a car when his team-mate at the time - who thought he'd already done so - closed the lid right on Valtteri's face, creating the scar that he still has today.

6. Bright Lights

The Northern Lights are on many people's bucket list. It's a stunning natural phenomenon - one that people travel hundreds of miles to try and see.

But, for Valtteri, it's not such a rare sight. He can actually see the Northern Lights from his lake house in Finland. Not jealous at all...

7. Cooling Off

One of Valtteri's favourite ways to relax is to hop in the sauna and, when he's toasty warm, jump straight into an icy lake for a swim. That's a temperature difference of 100°C to -1°C.

It usually takes some preparation, though. Valtteri has to make a hole in the ice with a chainsaw or an axe in order to dive into the freezing cold lake.

When he's not dashing from the sauna to the ice-cool lake, Valtteri also likes to relax by shooting clay targets and has a keen interest in Olympic Skeet.