Lewis Hamilton (left) and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas
Lewis Hamilton has explained how his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas differs from the Briton’s former racing partners throughout his Formula One career.
Seven-time F1 champion Hamilton has raced for Mercedes since 2013, with Bottas joining the team in 2017. Hamilton, 36, has won the drivers’ championship every season since, pulling level with joint-record-holder Michael Schumacher last year.
Finnish driver Bottas is set to leave Mercedes at the end of the season, joining Alfa Romeo while George Russell pairs up with compatriot Hamilton.
In an interview with Sky Italy, Hamilton said of Bottas: “I made a comment recently about my current teammate. This is the first time I have had a teammate that we actually really – in our engineering room – really communicate.
“There has never been any hiding of secrets between us. We are both trying to better each other. In the end, we want to beat each other, but we want to help each other be the better version of themselves.
“I have never known that with any other driver before.”
Bottas, 32, has achieved nine F1 race wins – all of them coming with Mercedes – but has always been No2 to Hamilton and has never won a championship.
“Honestly, I have always been in a different place when I have been against all these different faces in my life,” Hamilton said.
“I was a kid when I joined [Fernando] Alonso, I was a kid. Just sheer belief and talent but not mature enough to manage everything else.
“I was in a different position when I was with Heikki [Kovalainen], I was in a different position when I was with Jenson [Button], a different position when I was with Nico [Rosberg].
“You learn different things from each and every single one of them. Each one of them was challenging, you can never beat your teammate all the time, they are eventually going to either learn from you or vice versa and there is going to be mistakes.
“I wouldn’t change it for the world, the journey that I have had with them all, good or bad.”
Hamilton is in his closest title race in recent memory as he leads Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just two points with six grands prix remaining.
Verstappen, 24, is bidding to win his first F1 title, while Hamilton is aiming to go clear of Schumacher and claim sole ownership of the championship record that they share.
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