“Valtteri has been my best team-mate”– Lewis Hamilton finds more comfort in the status quo in Mercedes rather than having a new teammate.
This month, rumours of George Russell replacing Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for 2022 started fuelling up, and it seems imminent that the Finn might see his way out as the reports suggest.
However, Lewis Hamilton, who benefits the most from the current alliance has come in to speak for his teammate. According to Briton, Bottas is the best teammate he had in his career.
“Valtteri is my team-mate now and we’ve both of us had our ups and downs in our careers,” he told reporters in Austria. “But as I said, I think he is a fantastic team-mate and I don’t necessarily see that it needs to change. We have worked well for many years.
“Valtteri has been my best team-mate overall and when I say team-mate it’s not just driver performance, it’s about team morale and how you work in the team-mate environment.”
A partnership formed to suit Mercedes interests
After a disastrous man-management by Mercedes during Nico Rosberg and Hamilton’s pair up, Toto Wolff understood that his team can only tolerate one superstar in the house.
So, they hired Bottas, who apparently had a secondary role in Mercedes unofficially, and for the next four years, they have been getting results because of the decision.
But with Bottas driving, one of the greatest F1 cars every year, even he started to have aspirations, which Mercedes cannot risk. But even if they do, Bottas instead of getting better this year considering his declared objectives has regressed.
The Finn had to face points-drought in Monaco and Azerbaijan, benefitting Red Bull in the process. Last week in France, Bottas annoyingly asked his team why they didn’t listen to his call when he asked to make a two-stop race to beat Red Bull.
This indirectly has shown a rift between Bottas and the management, which might not be interested in him anymore, and believes it is time to use the benefits of investing extensively in Russell.