Hamilton: Bottas critics should ‘give him a break’ and Mercedes should keep him in the team

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton sees no reason for Mercedes to change its driver line-up, saying they shouldn’t disturb the “equilibrium” in the team by replacing Valtteri Bottas.

Speaking in today’s FIA press conference the world champion, who is in his fifth year alongside Bottas, was asked whether Mercedes’s line-up would be strengthened if George Russell took his team mate’s place.

““If I’m really honest I’ve not given it a lot of thought,” said Hamilton. “But from what I’ve experienced from the relationship that I have, of course, with Valtteri I think he’s been an amazing team mate, as I’ve always said.

“If I’m really honest I feel we have the best line-up currently in terms of deliverables, in terms of the equilibrium that’s within our team and the general knowledge, in terms of moving our car forwards.”

Both Hamilton and Bottas are yet to sign new contracts for the 2022 F1 season. Hamilton acknowledged a change in the team’s line up has to happen eventually.

“At some stage it’s going to shift, it’s going to change. I’m not going to be here forever, Valtteri won’t be here forever. But right now I think we’ve delivered time and time again over the years and we continue to.

“Valtteri just qualified on pole the last race. it’s only the fourth race. I think people need to give him a break and just let him focus on doing what he’s doing.”

Russell substituted for Hamilton during last year’s Sakhir Grand Prix. Driving an unfamiliar and uncomfortable car, Russell passed Bottas at the start and was on course to win when he suffered a setback in the pits.

Hamilton said Russell’s performance had no negative effect on their relationship, and pointed out he sent a supportive message to the Williams driver on social media following his collision with Bottas at Imola.

“Our relationship is 100% still intact. It’s exactly the same. We messaged after his incident in Imola and I hope you can see from the message I’ve put [out], I’m still supportive of him.

“He’s going through his own journey but he’s a great guy, he did a great job when he came to the team and he will continue to do a good job so no issues.”

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78 comments on “Hamilton: Bottas critics should ‘give him a break’ and Mercedes should keep him in the team”

  1. Spot on, Lewis. Bottas is a perfectly decent driver, and has done a good job this year (with the exception of Imola, of course). Yes, George Russell outraced him in Sakhir, but that does not mean he is the better driver. It is a no-brainer for Mercedes to keep Bottas, and they will.

    1. It’s a no-brainer for Hamilton to want a dutiful #2 that has never challenged him. Mercedes had enough of a pace advantage the last 7 years where it didn’t matter that Bottas was a Rubens Barrichello of sorts. We’ll see if Perez can get up to speed. If he does, Mercedes might lose the WCC.

      Also, not getting rid of Bottas likely means losing George Russell, who is a potential star. But none of that concerns Hamilton, who just wants to make life a bit easier on himself

    2. This is brilliant dry sarcasm

      Surely?

    3. I can’t tell if you’re being serious or not… But Bottas is trailing Lando Norris on points.. I hardly think that’s Mercedes worthy. Another poor race and he’ll be trailing a Ferrari as well.

  2. I mean Lewis Hamilton is probably the best driver in current grid whose first name isn’t “Kimi”. Bottas is still quite close to Hamilton’s level and I highly doubt there are any better alternatives for him.

    1. someone or something
      6th May 2021, 16:51

      I’m still trying to figure out whether you’re a parody account or not, but that first sentence is firmly within parody territory.

      1. Raikkonen has quite a fan base, not surprised to see some people consider him the best, whether joking or serious.

        1. @esploratore Most deluded fanbase I’ve ever seen in my opinion.

      2. Yeah, tbh I don’t rate Hamilton that high too.

        1. Bottas might have the edge on Hamilton yes

      3. Of course it’s a parody, there are five or six more besides Kimi who are better.

      4. Trust me .. he isn’t joking.

        He lives in an alternate universe where Kimi is by far the most superior driver on the grid. Hamilton, Verstappen and Alonso have just been lucky to crush Kimi in the past. I feel his whole perception of Kimi as a driver is based on whole race he’s seen – Suzuka 2005

  3. Well he would say that wouldn’t he…

    1. NeverElectric
      6th May 2021, 18:33

      Well, if he didn’t support his teammate, what would the anti-Hamilton Society be saying? “He’s not a team player, he’s selfish, can’t see a belt without hitting below it, etc”.
      He can’t win.

      1. Well, indeed, but him supporting his teammate is kind of irrelevant and not really a news story. Just going to lead to extreme comments.

  4. I wonder what Hamilton and Bottas staying would mean for Russell? Would he be willing for a 4th season at Williams or, for example, become an outside Alpine candidate, like Gasly?

    1. @jerejj Just a wild guess for next year if mercedes line up would remain the same.
      Red Bull: Verstappen/Perez
      Ferrari: Leclerc/Ricciardo
      Mclaren: Norris/Russel
      Alpine: Alonso/Gasly
      Alpha Tauri: Tsunoda/Some RB junior
      Aston Martin: Stroll/Sainz
      Alfa Romeo: Giovinazzi/Illot
      Williams: Latifi/???
      Haas: Schumacher/Mazepin

      1. This is a very odd suggestion. Why would Sainz want to leave Ferrari and go to Aston Martin? That would be madness. Surely it would be more likely that Russell would go there with Ricciardo staying at McLaren. I don’ think they, McLaren, would really want to have Norris and Russell in the same team.

        1. @qeki I doubt Ricciardo or Sainz would leave prematurely from their respective three and two-year contracts, nor even Vettel.

          1. In the end I think Russell isn’t driving for Williams next year even if he doesn’t get that Mercedes seat.

      2. @qeki can’t see Ferrari replacing Sainz, particularly not with an inferior driver in Ricciardo. Also, if Ocon continues beating Alonso there’s no way Alpine will show him the door.

        1. @tflb Yes, if Ocon outperforms and outscores Alonso, the temptation of replacing him with Gasly would be lower, but this doesn’t mean they couldn’t replace him with, for example, Zhou instead, especially if he wins the F2 championship. Everything’s open for now.

        2. Ricciardo inferior to sainz is very debatable.

      3. Jockey Ewing
        6th May 2021, 19:40

        There are some reasonable ideas here.
        Although If I were Ricciardo I would stay at McLaren instead of going to Ferrari in the next few years.

        George at Aston is not unlikely, especially as Toto has some interest in Aston, and I’m not sure that Vettel wants to have 2 seasons on par with Stroll, or only marginally beating Stroll, both would mean that his years at better-than-midfield-teams are far over. So SV has some potential to retire. It is a bit similar with Alonso, if he will not perform better than the first 3 race. Although I expect a better performance from Alonso, with a bit higher likelihood than in the case of Vettel (at least with their team’s relative potential taken into consideration).

        If there will be personal problems with Perez at RB, then that is also a place to go for Russell also. Especially if the RB will be on par with Mercedes throughout the whole season, then it might mark the start of a new era, so probably Mercedes will not be the obvious place to go. Although if RB or Verstappen wins the title, or they will be very close to that, and Checo will not cause a major problem throughout the road, then it is hard to imagine that they would not sign Perez for another year.
        That would be wise, as Marko is seemingly not in a very good relationship with Gasly (so he might leaves), while I am not sure that Tsunoda can close the gap pace-wise to Gasly yet. If we forget Tsunoda’s top2 or top3? laptime from the preseason testing, which he achieved via opening DRS longer than that would heve been allowed, then yet we have seen above 0.5s gap to Gasly at the first 2 quali, and maybe 0.4s at the third quali. So imo, it is hard to find in a year 0.4s even as a rookie.
        Although: the car fits Gasly’s taste, Gasly is doing well a long ago, and the new spec aero will be a bit less planted, more oversteery, more nimble and F2 like (hopefully, although the dimensions and the weight will further increase…), so it would not be wise to drop Tsunoda before seeing him at the new regs. So if he will be decent, but still slightly slower than Gasly, then he likely will have at least some races at next season, but raw-pace-wise I expected more, but I want to see his success. But if he is currently 0.4s off Gasly then he needs at least this season, and likely one more before having a teammate like Verstappen. (But let’s not forget, he had only 1 seasons at F2 and F3, before that he had been at national level of F4.)

        RB and Ferrari has a quite good, and quite lengthy academy linep around F2 and F3 level, so finding some rookies if they want to bring rookies on is very much possible. Ilott, Zhou, Shwartzman obviously, and of course, there are multiple new contenders also.

        Ocon is a bit too decent to be considered as a dropout. Then he would be a surprise-dropout like: Di Resta, Kobayashi, Nakajima, Wehrlein, Petrov all of them were dropped while showing some proimse, and with a good amount of unfinished business at F1. Hulkenberg couldbe added also, although he had a good amount of seasons, and he and luck somehow not found each other, so a bit painfully, but in a way justified.

        If Kimi outscores Giovinazzi again (without considering random results), then Gio should look for another series.
        If I were Kimi, I would sign, and try the 2022 car, just like as Hamilton. What is good to racing is liked by the drivers, what the drivers like, the fans will also. The drivers should have an anonymous vote when it is about voting about the rules :)

        Also I wonder what will happen if Mick beats Mazepin at this rate throughout the season. So being off by 0.5s at every race, and staying for another season, is hard to justify, even if it’s affordable. But it is right, a junior series or a second tier championship is far weaker then it’s adult or first tier counterpart. Kubica for example excelled at WRC2, but went for the lowest points scoring finishes at WRC. Something similar can be said about the teams of 2nd tier championships at soccer when they are playing against the ones on the top of the pyramid, that is just class difference most often.
        That is there between the F2 champion, and Mazepin who had to have a good amount of support, and practice opportunity before he earned his 5th place at F2 and finally got promoted. So you know how the fifth of the Championship would perform at the Premier League. Rarely there are wonders, but most likely they would have a very hard time.

        1. Jockey Ewing
          6th May 2021, 19:52

          + Sainz is a very nice, friendly person, I don’t see him fitting into the current Aston Martin, with that amount of corporate talk. Also, he would likely beat Stroll :)

      4. @qeki Why would Alpine drop Ocon for Gasly? This has been banded about a lot, but Gasly has proved that similar to Vettel, he can only perform when he has an extremely stable rear-end. At least Ocon has proved that when he hits his mojo, he is capable of outqualifying a driver like Perez 17-4 over a season. Gasly’s junior record is also arguably inferior, so he doesn’t even have that to fall back on. I get that Gasly is more likeable than Ocon, but that doesn’t mean he’s better as a driver.

        1. @mashiat I don’t think that will ever happen. I was rather just playing around with some crazy ideas what could happen.

  5. GtisBetter (@passingisoverrated)
    6th May 2021, 16:28

    This talk is getting crazy. Bottas had bad luck, bad tyres and bad strategy. Everybody knows he is slower then Hamilton, but in the end he helps getting mercedes a championchip. Mercedes is not just going to risk a title by changing up drivers and introducing new elements.

    1. @passingisoverrated
      It’s down to bad luck, tyres and strategy, but never down to bad racecraft, bad pace and bad defensive driving from Bottas? C’mon.

      1. Just to say I have liked Bottas and thought he did well at Williams. But, over the last few years, your final three points stand out. He has all the race-craft of a brick, which is unfortunate. Worst part is he hasn’t managed to understand the problem and solve it. “I’l go over here on the marbles to cut off the inside line ….Ooooops.”.
        Were he in any other team, he would likely look pretty good. He is steady and not a crasher.
        Problem is, Hamilton makes him look very ordinary.

      2. I guess you missed “Everybody knows he is slower then Hamilton”

        1. Neutralino
          7th May 2021, 9:09

          @f1osaurus
          I guess you missed that two of the three criticisms weren’t about Bottas’s pace, and that the replies weren’t about Bottas’s pace either.
          Stop trying to change the narrative, which is your usual modus operandi.

    2. Jockey Ewing
      6th May 2021, 20:13

      Imo indeed he had a good amount of bad luck, for example he injured the floor several times at last season, via driving through debris, which is a quite random event, and lost a good amount of pace doue to that at something like 3 races.
      Also Bottas was multiple times ahead Hamilton after the starts of the races of the current and previous season, but then an early safety car came, and he lost the lead multiple times immediately or a bit later after the restart (Instead of having an unbothered session where he can build a gap. He and Hulkenberg are maybe karma-brothers.)

      But I am pretty sure also, that he has no more chance against Hamilton than Rosberg. Likely a bit less than Roseberg.
      Although Rosberg was a full grown, experienced driver when they were teammates, while Bottas got promoted to Mercedes right after his rookie seasons, so experience-wise that is a few seasons minus. But likely he will not race as well and hard as Rosberg did, because then he would have shown that already, and we have seen that from Rosberg multiple times (or at least we have seen Rosberg very desperately trying, like the funny passes at the first DRS zone against Hamilton, which Hamilton took back at the 2nd DRS zone, multiple times in a row, wow that was so funny). He might be a bit cleaner, and a bit quicker at unbothered driving, but for the best positions more is required.

    3. Please go away and watch Bottas’s last half a dozen races or so

      He now never looks like he even thinks he could win a race – so basically he’s already accepted 2nd as a result, hardly healthy

  6. I think I understand what he really means (a good team spirit between teammates helps the team as a whole) but the word “equilibrium” can come across as a politically correct way of saying “I do the wins, you do the wingman.”

    1. someone or something
      6th May 2021, 16:53

      @palindnilap
      No need to drag political correctness into this, the word you were looking for is ‘euphemism’.

      1. I wrote “euphemism” and then changed it… but you are right, political correctness is not what I meant either. “Langue de bois” in French is what I meant, but I am short of an English equivalent. It means a discourse typical in politics, that is basically saying nothing with good-looking language, deliberately obfuscating the reality behind, not just avoiding to hurt sensibilities.

        In case anybody cares, I would be interesting to learn about an equivalent in English. Google Translate says “double talk” but it doesn’t sound the same.

        1. ‘Waffle’ might be the case, but actually, if you’re right, Hamilton isn’t “basically saying nothing”: he’s actually saying something very pointed and truthful. They’re ‘balanced’ team mates because he finishes ahead and Bottas finishes behind, most times. I think ‘double talk’ works quite well in that case. It sounds like he’s saying they’re ‘balanced’ because equally good, but we all know that isn’t the case. So they’re ‘balanced’ precisely because they’re unequal in terms of speed and talent. But actually I think you’re probably wrong because Hamilton is more likely to be thinking here of ‘equilibrium’ more in terms of harmony within the team, no competing factions, the drivers’ relationship off-track.

          Overall, though, Hamilton and Wolff are going to support Bottas publicly. There is particularly no reason at all for Hamilton to want Bottas to underperform this season (presuming he stays at Mercedes and isn’t switched for Russell midway through). He knows his rival is Verstappen and he needs Bottas to help – at least as much as Perez can help Max.

          1. Thanks for “waffle” ! Still not an equivalent I guess, because “langue de bois” means some mastery of manipulation.

            As for what Hamilton meant, if you read my first message, I was actually saying the same. He was certainly talking about harmony in the team, but the wording made the impression that there was some kind of double talk.

          2. @palindnilap Ah OK, that’s clearer now! I guess you mean something like ‘dissembling’ but it’s difficult to hit on a good equivalent phrase in English.

    2. @palindnilap
      But he is actually saying that he does the wins whilst Bottas gets the third places. He wouldn’t be clamouring for Bottas to stay his teammate if he didn’t know he could handily beat him.

  7. It’s a real shame that Hamilton doesn’t have the desire to prove him self against a top tier driver in the same team. As it stands, there will always be people who say he won because he’s in the fastest car. He matched Alonso in his first year and since then, he’s gone up against midfield drivers. Throughout his career, he’s never won a close battle for a title against a top level driver – it was Massa, Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel… All good drivers but none of them are in that top tier of driver.

    1. Please name any team that has two top tier drivers. It’s the teams’ decision, not the drivers’.

      1. @greenflag
        I can name two, Ferrari & McLaren. The fact that Sainz & Ricciardo were lagging behind their teammates in the first races doesn’t mean that they’re not top drivers.

        1. Neither are top tier drivers. They’re both good No. 2s.

    2. @petebaldwin:
      Are you for real? Lewis doesn’t have to prove himself to anyone, certainly not to you or me…!
      In his rookie year, a 2-time champion who most in the sport consider to be one of the best and in his prime coming off 2 consecutive championship wins, couldn’t beat Lewis. In fact using the official count back system, that rookie beat his illustrious teammate in the same car!
      In 2011-2012 when Lewis wanted to leave MacLaren, he approached RBR and Christian Horner has gone on record to say that they didn’t go for Lewis because they couldn’t accommodate 2 alpha drivers, with Vettel in his prime at the time.

      I’d love to see RBR sign Lewis or Russel as Max teammate, and why not? They are going after the Mercs top engineers anyway so they should as well go for their top driver. But they wouldn’t, would they?

      1. That would’ve been interesting, hamilton vs peak vettel at red bull, might’ve been a challenging battle for both.

        I think so far this year hamilton is driving well against a competitive red bull, BUT I have the feeling mercedes is already pulling away, because I’d give the nod to: red bull in qualifying, even in the first race, then red bull qualifying, mercedes in the 2nd race, then mercedes in both quali and race the 3rd, and I’m one of those who consider red bull in season development very good, so it’s not like I didn’t have hopes for red bull initially, but I can see mercedes already having the best car now, I hope I’m wrong on that.

        1. By even in the first race I mean there was nothing between the 2 cars.

    3. It’s a real shame that Hamilton doesn’t have the desire to prove him self against a top tier driver in the same team

      Haha the utter clowns on this site. Hamilton’s proven himself already. The rac!sts will never accept that though.

      1. Persona4Gold
        7th May 2021, 9:01

        People not liking Hamilton isn’t necessarily racist.
        They might not enjoy his public persona, or his high pitched voice, or his general propensity to talk rubbish/lie. That’s why people are attracted to Raikkonen, no nonsense, or other drivers above Hamilton.
        Hamilton just isn’t that a likeable guy.

        Reply moderated
    4. Like lots of F1 fans you’re concentrating on a politico speech nonsense as opposed to reality

      Please tell us, when Hamilton has ever been bothered about his team-mate. He’s playing the team game, as is expected of him and any other worker

      Let’s say Russell joins are you saying that Hamilton will say they should have stuck with Bottas??!!

    5. @petebaldwin

      Honestly, I think Lewis has gone up against more top talents than any other driver on the grid. He’s been up against Alonso, Button and Rosberg (3WDCs) Alonso might come close as he had Hamilton, Button and Kimi as teammates (again 3WDCs).

      I just don’t see any top talent – Verstappen, Hamilton or Leclerc included, going up against each other, or against an emerging talent such as Russell or Norris. I don’t think it’s fair to single Hamilton out. He’s obviously happy with Bottas, the same way he was happy with pounding Kovalainen week in week out. He rather get a challenge from another team than within his own.. which honestly, is the same agenda that Max and Charles have.

      The team bosses are really acting like chickens if you ask me. I remember a time when team bosses were fighting for the two best drivers in their cars. Now, we’re faced with one of the top 3 or 4 drivers as a #1 and another wingman who will play well with his teammate.

      1. I honestly don’t think he’d be bothered about Russel been his team-mate.

        He’s so ingrained and respected at Mercedes, that if anyone thinks someone else is going to rock up and start beating him, then they’re either Hamilton knockers, don’t know the history of the guy or mentally unbalanced (or either or all!!)

        Of course if he loses this year, in the same way Vettel lost in 2018, then the veneer is shattered and yes, Russell or anyone else scents that the old man of the pride is ripe for been ousted into the wilderness. But even then Hamilton would see it as a new challenge and brush himself down, just like he did after his self-inflicted poor 2011 and relatively poor 2016 seasons

  8. All this shows is that the pressure mounts and Hamilton is taking the current team line that Bottas makes for harmony.

    But harmony will not win the constructors title.

    1. That will only happen if red bull can really bring a competitive car all season, as things were so far bottas will be enough with the best car.

  9. The hounding of BOT by the media needs to stop and I hope he can have a cleaner run going forward, with fewer mechanical issues and pitstop debacles.

    1. @andrewwj
      I think the only way he will silence critics is if he wins a race.

      Reply moderated
    2. Bottas gets off mildly by the media

      Sky talked up last Sunday’s race as though it was a vintage F1 drive – as opposed to him been in the race, arguably the best example of a ‘ghost’ driver, you’ll ever get

  10. James Coulee
    6th May 2021, 18:12

    Hamilton doesn’t want anyone with a hint of capability as teammate that could steal him points.

    (He couldn’t be more explicit: yes, there is a “Russel clause” just like there was a “Verstappen clause”.)

    1. @James Coulee He has a Russell clause in his 2022 contract that hasn’t been written or signed yet? Or did he have the Russell clause in his 2021 contract which he signed after Bottas’ contract was already signed?

  11. I wouldn’t expect LH to say anything else. Of course he enjoys not having competition on the other side of the garage, and of course he wants to keep VB’s psyche intact and not rile him up with any negativity. None of what LH has said here is a surprise, nor does it mean they won’t replace VB with GR next year. Is he implying GR would ruin the peace and harmony on the team? Why would that be?

    As well, let’s ask why there is criticism of VB to being with. Why is LH having to defend VB? Obviously because he has proved over the seasons, and yet again this season, that he is squandering that seat and there could be a far more exciting driver in the other seat. Yes, a challenger even. This is F1 and LH is supposed to relish competition.

    1. @robbie Well that’s more or less my take. He’s not going to say anything publicly against Bottas and he needs him driving well. Privately (e.g. to Wolff) who knows. Hamilton’s experience has been one of negative rivalry when he had chances for a world championship (Alonso, Rosberg), a period when it didn’t really matter in championship terms but the situation soured (Button), and fairly easy domination of the other driver (Kovalainen, Bottas). Where would Russell or Norris fit in? On evidence, he must anticipate the arrival of a faster team mate as destabilizing. Sure he relishes competition, that’s evident from this season, but clearly he much prefers that competition to be outside his team. That’s why Mercedes really have to make this call for themselves. They need a replacement for LH at some point, isn’t it better to put a faster team mate there, even if it unsettles Hamilton a bit?

      1. LOL!! I can’t think of a driver less bothered by his team-mate than Hamilton – but you’ve managed to spin him as wanting the same demands as Shui and pre-Ferrari Alonso.

        You really don’t get. If you’re a team than needs race wins more than ever in order to win the team title – then you make sure that the best person to deliver that, isn’t inhibited by an ambitious young Hamilton 2007 type pup.

        That’s not a Hamilton strategy – that’s a team one.

        1. You over-reacted that one @banbrorace. I’m talking about preferences he might signal to his team, if and when asked about the topic of Bottas or a potential replacement. Explain where I equated that with insisting on contractual clauses or word-of-mouth promises to be number one driver at the team? It’s obvious this should be Russell’s last year at Williams, he’s been there more than long enough. He’s been explicitly identified by Wolff as a Mercedes driver, even a kind of ‘team mate,’ in the last couple of weeks. So we can assume he has expectations for that seat and Hamilton knows that. Essentially 3 drivers for 2 places. And Wolff has also made it clear this week that he’s (a) hoping Hamilton signs a new contract sooner than later, and (b) thinking about which of Bottas and Russell to sign (“maybe I’ll wake up one morning with a clear idea”). Maybe the decision has already been made to sign Russell and he’s just trying to keep Bottas happy for as long as possible. But clearly the interaction with Hamilton as a team mate is a factor Mercedes have to consider.

  12. I don’t blame him for wanting Bottas as his teammate, every driver wants that comfort. Lewis’ return for the last race of 2020 seemed really rushed, I don’t think he wanted Russell anywhere near his car. Still, I think that Lewis would beat George handily in the same machinery.

    1. Unproven, russel was really impressive in that race and I wouldn’t count him out in a fight with hamilton.

    2. I am not sure whether Lewis can win from Russell over the course of an entire. In any case, whether Lewis wins or not it will diminish his past achievements when a proper driver gets that second seat and shows how easy it has all been. Hamilton will ofcourse try to avoid that.

  13. Anon A. Mouse
    6th May 2021, 20:30

    It’s amazing, yet not at all surprising, that people are just unwilling to take these comments at face value as being genuine and positive remarks about his fellow competitors. With all the talk of psychological gamesmanship, seems like the only ones playing are the fans – and losing badly.

    1. ian dearing
      6th May 2021, 20:54

      Yea, driver who in recent times has publicly supported George, Lando, Gasly, Vettel during their difficult times, now found supporting his own teammate. What a turn up for the books.
      And turns out he is scared of George coming into the team according to the resident experts on here. Who knew? Makes you wonder why Ham has spent the last few years giving George so much advice and help that George has publicly thanked him on a number of occasions for it.
      Anyone, well done to the old fella. I’m sure this will upset a few.
      https://twitter.com/LaureusSport/status/1390356005398138882/photo/1

      1. Absolutey spot on. It’s hilarious the lengths some will go to try and prove that Hamilton really isn’t that great

    2. But Bottas isn’t really a competitor is he? Hamilton realistically knows he won’t be challenged by Bottas and therefore Bottas isn’t a true competitor.

  14. So he wants to keep Bottas instead of Russell coming in? I guess it must be all about his loyalty to his team mate.

    1. I believe there’s something more than that.

  15. I do hope Russel and Hamilton are signed for Mercedes next season. Russell would be the future for Mercedes and he can learn a lot from a season alongside Hamilton.

    Bottas is a great driver, but there is no way he’s going to come out on top when compared to someone like Hamilton who is pretty much always on it and has demonstrated to be at least the greatest of his generation. However, the fact that Bottas comes even close is already saying a lot.

    Russell would most likely be the better driver overall though and he could probably help Mercedes even better in the coming years with fighting for championships.

  16. Let’s Google Translate Hamilton’s statement –

    If I’m really honest I feel we have the best line-up currently in terms of deliverables

    We’ve given Mercedes the WCC every year since 2017. We’ve also got all the WDCs and finished 1 – 2 in the WDC twice in the last 4 years. There’s not a lot more to achieve with a stronger driver in that 2nd seat.

    in terms of the equilibrium that’s within our team

    We both get along as there is no real rivalry here .. Valterri has made his peace with it and that’s why there’s harmony. Why get in a driver that wants to beat me and cause fireworks? Nico was a terrible member of the team. If I deliver the WDC every year.. why get someone in the team to challenge me for it?

    and the general knowledge, in terms of moving our car forwards.”

    He works well as a development driver and contributes to creating the fastest car on the grid, which is good enough for me as a teammate. Doubt a younger and faster talent will help us in that regard.

    1. Excellent, er, excellent ‘translation’!!

      Agreed.

      And he’s correct. However, I’ve no doubt he would relish putting Russell, Norris etc in his place

      Imagine he wins this year and then wins in the new era against, say Russell. That would mean he’s won in at least four different car evolution era’s against four different team-mates and at least four different rivals

      1. @banbrorace

        However, I’ve no doubt he would relish putting Russell, Norris etc in his place

        Don’t get me wrong. I think Lewis is probably the best driver on the grid currently (a toss up with Max), but he has been beaten by Nico Rosberg.. even though Rosberg did get a little lucky. I would rate a young and hungry Russell / Norris in the same league as Rosberg.. so you never know what can happen. If you can get under Lewis’ skin.. he can drop the ball.

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