Hamilton pays tribute to "best team-mate" Bottas ahead of Mercedes exit

Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to outgoing Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas, calling him the “best team-mate I’ve had the pleasure of working with”.

Hamilton pays tribute to "best team-mate" Bottas ahead of Mercedes exit

Bottas announced on Monday that he would be joining Alfa Romeo for 2022 after signing a multi-year deal, paving the way for George Russell to be announced as his replacement at Mercedes.

The exit of Bottas brings to an end a highly successful partnership with Hamilton at Mercedes over the past five seasons that has yielded four constructors’ championships.

Hamilton has frequently talked up Bottas’s ability and strengths as a team-mate, saying as recently as Spa that their working relationship was “better than ever”.

Following news that Bottas would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the year, Hamilton took to Instagram to pay tribute to the Finnish driver.

"I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri Bottas for the last five years,” Hamilton wrote.

“Together, we’ve been part of a team that has delivered four constructors’ championships, and we’ve motivated one another to keep pushing through the ups and the downs.

“He has been the best team-mate I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Your speed and resilience has been impressive but where you truly stand out to me is the human being you are. You are greater than you know and I know there’s a bright future ahead for you.

“Thank you Valtteri for all of your support and amazing contributions to this team. You will be missed.

“I wish you all the best for your future endeavours, let’s finish off strong and get that eighth [championship] for the team.”

 

Bottas was Hamilton’s fifth team-mate in F1 and is his longest-serving partner following previous stints for the Briton alongside Fernando Alonso (2007), Heikki Kovalainen (2008-2009), Jenson Button (2010-2012) and Nico Rosberg (2013-2016).

Hamilton had been open in the past about his hope that Bottas would continue with Mercedes as his team-mate for 2022, saying in June that he did not “necessarily see that it needs to change”.

PLUS: Why Alfa Romeo has picked Bottas to be its 2022 F1 "leader"

But when discussing a possible partnership with Russell at Zandvoort last weekend, Hamilton said he had no concerns about how it would impact the inner-team dynamic.

“I raced against some incredible drivers as team-mates, in my rookie year alongside Fernando, so yeah, I don’t really feel like I have anything to prove,” Hamilton said.

“If it does turn out that I’ve got a new team-mate, I’m in a different place in my life. I’m excited to see the youngsters coming through.

“There’ll be things that we learn from one another. I think it’s important that the respect is always there and communication will be at the core of that.

Read Also:

“We’ve got an amazing setting at our team, in terms of morale, in terms of our processes and how the team put their arms around the two drivers. That’s why we have harmony in our team.

“I think we’re so much better prepared than we were in previous years. So it doesn’t really worry me.”

shares
comments

Related video

Sainz and Ferrari seeking answers after ‘pain’ of F1 Dutch GP
Previous article

Sainz and Ferrari seeking answers after ‘pain’ of F1 Dutch GP

Next article

Brawn hopes F1 can use DRS on Zandvoort banking in 2022

Brawn hopes F1 can use DRS on Zandvoort banking in 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Plus

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom Plus

How Tyrrell and Stewart forged parallel paths to F1 stardom

The young Ken Tyrrell was barely 
aware of motor racing – until a trip with 
his village football team to the British
 Grand Prix set him on the road to
 becoming a Formula 1 constructor. MAURICE HAMILTON details the humble beginning of Tyrrell and how Ken linked up with Jackie Stewart…

Formula 1
Sep 19, 2022