Bottas would always pick Hamilton as team-mate

Date published: May 8 2019

Valtteri-Bottas-and-Lewis-Hamilton-celebrate

Valtteri Bottas says he wouldn’t choose anyone other than Lewis Hamilton to be his Mercedes team-mate.

In the opening four rounds of the 2019 season, Bottas and Hamilton have traded wins and finishing positions en-route to four-consecutive one-two finishes for Mercedes. However, the Finn leads the Drivers’ Championship by one point after his fastest lap in Australia.

For the first time since Mercedes signed him to replace Nico Rosberg, who retired after taking the 2016 crown, Bottas is matching five-time World Champion Hamilton blow-for-blow, and he credits this to having a benchmark like the Brit.

“Lewis has been World Champion many times, so being his team-mate is great, as a good reference and benchmark, It’s also a good opportunity to have a very strong team,” Bottas told Crash.net.

“On the other hand, of course, you’re always competing against your team-mate, you’re always being compared to your own team-mate, so for sure it’s not easy to be his team-mate.

“It’s always difficult to be ahead of him, but I know it’s possible and it has been closer and closer as we work together in the team.
“I see it as a great opportunity and I wouldn’t choose any other teammate, even if they would be easier for me.”

Mercedes‘ start to the season rewrote the Formula 1 record book, but Bottas believes it’s too early to rule Ferrari out of the title fight, and backed Sebastian Vettel to be the strongest challenger due to his experience advantage over Charles Leclerc.

“It’s tough to say at this point of the year,” he explained.

“They all have potential to fight for the title, Sebastian is quite experienced, they are now second in the Constructors’ Championship, Charles is very young and keen to beat Sebastian.

“But maybe because of Sebastian’s experience, if I had to choose one name it would be him.”

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