Valtteri Bottas and wife Emilia Bottas split over 'career challenges'

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas has confirmed that he and wife Emilia have split due to the challenges presented by his motorsport career.

The pair have been together since 2010 and married in 2016, when Bottas raced for the Williams team, before joining Mercedes the following season to partner Lewis Hamilton.

On Thursday morning ahead of the Abu Dhabi season-finale Bottas confirmed the news of their split on social media via a brief statement.

"Unfortunately I have to let you know that the marriage between Emilia and myself has come to an end," he wrote. "Our ways have split because of the challenges of my career and life situation bring and we think this is the best for both of us and our future lives, so we are separating as friends.

"I will be forever thankful for all the sacrifices she had to make for me, for her support during many years and for all the experiences that we have had together.

"I trust that you will respect both of us and our privacy regarding this matter. This will be all I have to say and comment regarding our divorce."

Emilia, an Olympic swimmer, added: "Over time, our paths have taken us apart due to the challenges of our lives and we see this as the best option for our future. We part ways as friends and are grateful to each other for all the years we have spent together."

Bottas has secured second in the championship with four race wins to Hamilton's 10 and recently stated that he had a plan to end the Briton's dominance in the sport.