Lewis Hamilton says the relationship he has with Valtteri Bottas is already his best in Formula 1, because there “are no games” with Mercedes' new signing. Bottas has joined Hamilton at the title-winning team for 2017 after the shock retirement of last ...
Lewis Hamilton says the relationship he has with Valtteri Bottas is already his best in Formula 1, because there “are no games” with Mercedes’ new signing.
Bottas has joined Hamilton at the title-winning team for 2017 after the shock retirement of last year’s world champion Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton and Rosberg spent four years as teammates at Mercedes, with the last three of those spent engaged in a private duel for the world title.
The two drivers were close during their karting years and time in junior single-seaters, but a number of on-track clashes and the pressure of the title race meant that relationship deteriorated.
Speaking to the official F1 website about Bottas, Hamilton said: “What I so far like about working with Valtteri is that it is all to do with the track - what we do on the circuit - and not outside.
“There are no games - there is complete transparency. I like that.
“I feel we already have a better working relationship than I ever had with any teammate I had before.
“He wants to do the best thing that he can in his first year with the team - and with me being here for quite a while now, I want to deliver and make sure that I give as much information so that he will learn.
“And we do our talking on the track.”
Ex-Williams driver Bottas has admitted changing teams has been a "bigger thing" than he initially expected, but believes he is integrating well with his new employer.
Hamilton backed up that sentiment last week, saying: “His feedback seems solid and he’s working great with the team. He’s gelled very easily and is doing a great job as far as I am aware.”
Rosberg defeat left Hamilton more ‘driven’
Losing the 2016 title to Rosberg was the only time in the duo’s four years at Mercedes that Hamilton was beaten by the German over a season.
Hamilton told the official F1 website his target for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 26 was “pole position, fastest lap, being fastest in every session - and win”.
He added that missing out on his fourth crown last season left him more determined to succeed in 2017.
“I am fitter, I am working harder than ever before and I am super focused and driven after last year - when I also worked hard through the year but didn’t get the result I wanted,” he said.
“So I want change and that is what the team and I are working so hard to achieve. I am not really sure, but I don’t think that any team has ever won championships across rules changes - and that is the big goal for us.”
Additional reporting by Filip Cleeren
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