Valtteri Bottas was left surprised by the “weird” success of a cheeky print photo of his bum that helped raise €50,000 for charity, saying: “I don’t quite get it”.
Alfa Romeo Formula 1 driver Bottas stayed in the United States following the Miami Grand Prix, taking time to travel with his partner and professional cyclist, Tiffany Cromwell.
Bottas posted a picture to his Instagram showing him swimming in a stream in Aspen, Colorado, with his bare bottom poking out of the water.
The stir it caused on social media prompted Bottas to collaborate with photographer and creative Paul Ripke to do a special one-day-only run of prints of the photo for charity.
Over 5,000 people bought a copy of the print, helping to raise more than €50,000 for charity.
Asked how it felt to know that 5,000 people would own a picture of his bum, Bottas admitted that it was “weird”.
“I still haven't signed any, maybe in autograph session tomorrow [Sunday], maybe I'll see some,” Bottas 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 Cromwell had taken the photo before Ripke did the editing and helped put the plan to raise money for charity together.
“The next day we decided we'd like to print something for charity, and we decided to do it,” he said. “And then it just went like boom.”
Bottas doubted they would do any more products using the image, though, saying anyone who managed to get hold of a print was “very lucky”.