Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Hamilton believes mutual respect with Bottas will prevent a repeat of Rosberg episode

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says he is confident the relationship between himself and Valtteri Bottas will not degenerate the way it did when he and Nico Rosberg fought for the championship at Mercedes.

Team principal Toto Wolff recently admitted he is keen they “avoid what we went through with Nico and Lewis”, which ended when Rosberg retired from F1 at the end of 2016. But Hamilton said he believes he and Bottas have a healthy mutual respect.

“There’s things that happened in the background that you won’t know about. I don’t really feel this is the place to talk about it, but there’s things that happen that you just don’t know.

“So when [Wolff] mentions glimpses of that, he has seen a glimpse of it. But what’s really important is that will pull together as a team. We have discussed it and hopefully rectified it so that won’t spring up again.

“What happened before [was] an individual continued to go down that route. But that’s not what we have here. We have a really great energy in the team, the respect is there, we have agreed rules set out so that we do finish the races one-two and we play supporting roles either way.

“So I truly believe it’s the best pairing in terms of that respect, in terms of how we deliver each weekend [more] than any other team has ever had or currently has.

“Yes, it’s going to be close and tight between us and tensions, that’s just there because there’s always tension when you want to beat someone else. But the fundamental key is that we have to be a team player. We are not here for ourselves. Of course we want to win the championship individually but what we are paid to do is win for the team and deliver for the team. As long as we remember that, we shouldn’t have problems.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2016
Rosberg quite after beating Hamilton to 2016 title
Hamilton was unwilling to elaborate on the downturn in relations between him and Rosberg during their four years as team mates.

“It’s all internal, we keep it all internal and it’s not for the public domain,” he said. “But as I said everything’s great within the team, the respect is still there and continue to push on and we won’t have any problems as we continue on. So don’t expect what you’ve seen in the past.”

Asked if he will ever disclose what happened, Hamilton said: “Probably not.

“Maybe one day when I write a book, probably one day when I retire I’ll be able to talk about it. But I don’t really need to talk much about it, I just let my results do the talking, so that’s what I focus on.”

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2019 F1 season

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14 comments on “Hamilton believes mutual respect with Bottas will prevent a repeat of Rosberg episode”

  1. He will also include in the book the real reason why Mercedes changed the crews around as opposed to what the team said, so it seems also the team ‘chose to go down that route’.

  2. But there was nothing going on between Hamilton and Rosberg, only the media drumming up drama…

    I will continue to expect the exact same nonsense as before from the team.

    1. Sush Meerkat
      9th May 2019, 18:39

      Please remember that everything is fine, apart from the car, Mercedes are having a difficult time with how the car behaves

    2. If you believe there was nothing going on between Hamilton and Rosberg and that it was all media hype then you must have been watching with your eyes closed.

      1. Thats what the team said. I watch with open eyes.

  3. Sush Meerkat
    9th May 2019, 18:36

    What happened before [was] an individual continued to go down that route

    How dare they? They are so selfish, wanting the best for themselves

    1. @ Sush Meerkat But you don’t know what that ‘route’ was, if it was to win at all costs by crashing/taking out your teammate then ‘wanting the best for themselves’ doesn’t cut it does it.

  4. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    9th May 2019, 18:50

    It will be all nice and smiley until / if Bottas keeps the top place in the WDC by midseason. Then it would not surprise me to hear Lewis’s crying team conspiracy against him.

  5. It takes two to tango, and LH was not always the innocent victim of ‘someone else’s’ behaviour, as he now like to make it sound. He was also an active participant. Eg. the hat throwing incident in the post-race green room after which NR went on to win 7 races in a row and the Championship in 2016. (Not suggesting that was because of the hat but it just speaks to taking two to tango).

    That said, VB is not Nico as we all have our own fingerprints and by default there would not be the same relationship between LH and VB, and LH and NR. I too do not think things will get to where they did before, but I do think the relationship will change if it becomes a see-saw battle down to the wire. The team play and the ‘for the team’ sentiment will go out the window just as LH was not for the team when he spent 2016 accusing them of favouring Nico.

    I am also always mindful that as much as they now sound so glad that they won’t likely see a return to the LH/NR relationship, Nico had been signed up for 2 more years past his Championship year, which would have taken him through last year, so as I have said before, TW will gladly manage two stubborn drivers in some turmoil if he is achieving 1-2’s for it, and it is disingenuous of them to now make it sound like it was so awful.

  6. I think this is just a sign of Hamilton being older and deciding that he’s just not going to let certain things raise his blood pressure anymore. But, on the other hand, it could also be that he really hated Nico’s guts and losing to him rubbed his nerves raw.

  7. How can you change Lewis? Bottas is even tamer than Nico so there should be no problem as soon as Lewis wins again.

  8. It’s not going to be like with Nico simply because the dynamic has been set with VB. I’m not saying he’s a better driver than Lewis, but if push come to shove, Merc will prioritse Lewis, they have to.. Wouldn’t make sense to pay your driver 40 million or whatever a year not prioritise him.

    Anyway, I don’t think it will come to that, VB will not sustain his form. I hope I’m wrong, because he is the only challenger to Lewis this year.

  9. …and people going to kept asking about this. Was it technical, emotional, team policy? A great hype builder. It’s going to be a best seller before it even published.

  10. Lewis hated losing to Nico and being outqualified by him, as the known best qualifier must have been the salt in his wounds.

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