This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix brings the Formula One circus and all that goes with it back to Melbourne, and for the first time in more than a decade there will be two local heroes on the grid.

    However, while Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri were born on Australian shores, the nation has adopted a third driver in Valtteri Bottas – possibly the most bogan man from Finland, who has won local hearts since he began dating Aussie cyclist Tiffany Cromwell in early 2020.

    Having spent last year’s off season in Australia, there’s now a mutual love between Bottas and the local community – which ridesharing giant Uber has been more than happy to capitalise on.

    The 10-time Formula One race winner – which included victory in the 2019 Australian Grand Prix – stars in a new campaign for Uber Carshare, a service which allows users to rent out their personal car.

    To promote the service, Bottas (or Uber’s marketing minions) have decked out a Holden Commodore ute (very Australian) with all the accessories any ocker Aussie would need.

    Bottas shows us around the Commodore, which features everything from a seat-mounted fan to cool his bleach blonde mullet, a pie oven fit for a tradie’s steak, bacon and cheese delicacy, and even a budgie smuggler clothesline.

    It’s quite the creation, and is publicly available to be booked on Uber Carshare from March 22 to April 12. There are also 10 more cars which have been given the “VB seal of roadtrip-approval”, complete with a ‘road trip kit’ – consisting of a car air freshener, beach towel, drinks cooler, and sunnies.

    This nifty bit of PR comes just days after Uber agreed to settle a class action lawsuit led by Australian taxi and hire car operators, drivers and owners, who went after the ridesharing pioneer for lost income since its local launch in 2012.

    The settlement included a $270 million payment, making it the fifth-largest class action industrial action in Australian history.

    Bottas will take to the grid in his Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber – yes, that’s the team’s real name – race car on Sunday 24 March, following two days of practice and qualifying around the Albert Park circuit.

    A full rundown on the Australian Grand Prix schedule and where to watch the race is available here.

    MORE: 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix schedule

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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