Valtteri Bottas may be the perfect team-mate for Lewis Hamilton as tensions at Mercedes are at all-time low – but that doesn’t mean he’s doesn’t race the Brit hard.
Last season Bottas traded blows with Hamilton at the start of the campaign, both drivers taking two wins and two runner-up results in the first four races.
But while Bottas’ challenge began to fade, Hamilton came to the fore to win six of the next eight, taking a massive lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
The Brit romped to a sixth World title while Bottas, perhaps unfocused on the track by the negotiations off it, had to settle for second best.
The 30-year-old did return to winning ways in the latter part of the season, claiming two of the final five P1s.
Despite his mid-season lag, Bottas secured another season with Mercedes and will partner Hamilton in 2020.
He reckons they have an almost-perfect team-mate relationship.
“If there was [tension], it’s just a little bit,” he told thejudge13.
“We have been able to work together and we are closer than ever.
“We race hard against each other, but we’ve never had any big problems.
“It’s healthy not to race against your best friend, and the team is careful and makes sure there is chemistry between the drivers.”
2019 was Bottas’ most successful season in Formula 1 with four wins, five pole positions and 326 points.