Valtteri Bottas' love of all things Australian has led to him conceding he may one day move to the country.
Even before Bottas started dating professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, he concedes his personal affiliation with Australia was already in full swing, instigated by his first visit to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix in 2013.
“I've always loved it,” said Bottas, in an interview with Speedcafe. “Definitely, Melbourne has always been one of the highlights of the whole year.
“Since the first time I went there, just the lifestyle and culture are pretty cool, and I actually feel the humour, compared to Finnish people, is really similar. They're pretty sarcastic.
“Of course, they are a bit more outgoing and things but they're always lovely.
“And then definitely when I got to know Tiff, got to learn a bit more about Australia and see more places then, of course, I fell in love with the country.
“She knows all the best spots, and has taught me a lot more about the culture and a bit about the slang, all those kind of things.”
That culture even led to Bottas embracing his inner bogan and opting to sport a mullet over the winter and into the start of the new F1 season, an idea he concedes began “as a joke” but due to its popularity led to him opting to keep it.
“It's my style now, I like it,” said the 34-year-old, with a grin.
The acclaim Bottas has garnered in Australia soared to new heights earlier this year.
Upon returning to Albert Park, and although no longer a front-running driver as was the case when he was with Mercedes, Bottas was mobbed.
“This year in Melbourne was crazy,” he said. “I've never had so much support.
“Obviously, because my other half is Australian, probably that has an effect – and the mullet – and everything. Obviously, they love it.”
For now, it appears natural that Bottas will one day settle in Australia. He has already intimated he could race in Supercars, and the Repco Bathurst 1000 once he unties the knot with F1.
Although unconfirmed, Speedcafe understands Bottas will be retained by the team currently known as Alfa Romeo into next year.
Bottas has made no secret of his desire to still be with the team when Audi comes on board for the new power unit era.
Living in Australia may have to wait – for the time being.
“The thing for me is I've got pretty open plans,” said Bottas.
“Definitely, eventually, living in Australia is one option, or even racing in Australia one day is one option.
“But the nice thing at the moment for me is that I'm pretty flexible on things.
“I don't have any place that I really need to be in the future, so I can kind of choose. Let's see where the world takes us, maybe one day.
“I still feel like I have quite a few years in this sport, and living in Australia during that time, it's pretty impossible.
“But it's definitely high on the list.”