Bottas: F1 means more to Hamilton than other drivers

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton in yell

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, in yellow, purple and white street clothes as he walks through the paddock. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

Valtteri Bottas believes that the importance of Formula 1 to Lewis Hamilton is matched by no other driver on the grid.

Bottas and Hamilton spent five seasons together driving for the Mercedes team between 2017-2021, securing the Constructors’ Championship for the team in all five of their seasons together.

The pair built up a strong and harmonious relationship within the Mercedes garage, so much so that Hamilton on multiple occasions claimed that Bottas was the best team-mate he has ever had.

Bottas’ 2022 future is secure, the Finn having agreed a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo, and while contractually Hamilton’s is also, the seven-time World Champion has continued to let doubts over his F1 career linger.

It all stems from the 2021 title decider in Abu Dhabi, where the race win and title was snatched from Hamilton on the final lap by Max Verstappen, a race and result which he felt was “manipulated” by Race Control.

During a late Safety Car period, only the lapped cars between Verstappen in P2 and leader Hamilton were cleared, before the race restarted for the final lap, where on far fresher tyres Verstappen made the pass.

Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina December 2021.
Lewis Hamilton pictured on race day at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Yas Marina December 2021.

Hamilton would say “we’ll see about next year” in his brief post-race interview in Abu Dhabi, going into silence across the winter break from there, also skipping the FIA prize-giving event.

However, Bottas gave a strong clue regarding Hamilton’s stance on his Formula 1 career, by stating that to his mind, Formula 1 plays a more important role in Hamilton’s life than any other driver can claim for theirs.

 

Speaking during a Supla podcast, Bottas said of Hamilton, as quoted by le10sport: “He rarely has bad races, he adapts very well to all situations.

“I must also say that for me, I work very hard with the team, I review everything very precisely, but Lewis, if he hears that I have been to the factory for two days, he goes for three days. If he has any doubt about something, he does something about it.

“This year [2021] he was in the simulator almost every week, which he had never done before, always reviewing things, and his commitment is something I can only take my hat off to.

“I think F1 means maybe more to him than to the rest of the drivers right now.”

 

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