Life between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes is much more harmonious than when Hamilton was partnered by Nico Rosberg, according to team principal Toto Wolff.
“Lewis is very much out there to win as many races as possible, and championships,” Wolff told Sky. “And no driver wants to give up a race victory. I think Valtteri needs to get it himself and this is how it should pan out.”
However the pair get along much better than Hamilton and Rosberg did, Wolff explained. “This is Alice in Wonderland now compared to what we had before. They are yin and yang.
All the talking happens on the track. There is nothing in the debrief, there is no politics.
“And I’m not saying that in a negative way, every driver has his own way of trying to achieve success. But Valtteri is an absolutely cool Finn. I don’t think that he even realises if something is being manipulated. So it’s a great relationship between the two.”
Wolff agreed Bottas had been ‘handcuffed’ in recent races while the team ensured Hamilton clinched the drivers’ championship.
“I always said these handcuffs existed because Lewis had such an advantage in the championship. We never said they didn’t exit.”
Bottas might have avoided having to play number to for Hamilton had it not been for his puncture in Baku, which put him out of the race and allowed Hamilton to win.
“It would have been 25 more points for Valtteri that one race. I think we [also] would have gotten the constructors’ championship by now.
“He would have been in [with] a shot for the championship. And then obviously it’s very difficult to say ‘you need to drive for the other driver’, that doesn’t go.”
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