Bottas reveals Hamilton told him he doesn’t want to “play any games”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas says when he joined Mercedes Lewis Hamilton “pulled me aside and said he doesn’t want to play any games and I said that I don’t either, and we shook on it”.

The partnership between Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes is considered to be one of the more harmonious partnerships in F1 history.

It was a stark contrast to the tension-filled atmosphere that prevailed in the team while Nico Rosberg was Lewis’ team-mate.

Mercedes seemed to appreciate the change as they threw Valtteri a grandiose farewell party ahead of his move to Alfa Romeo.

In a podcast hosted by Finnish journalist and presenter Oskari Saari, Valtteri was asked why does Mercedes “like him so much”?

“I don’t know, I think when i came to Mercedes the atmosphere was quite different to what it is now,” Bottas said.

“They had two drivers who were fighting really hard and it became political, so just getting the good mood back in the team was a big thing.

“What I have heard from the team it was quite different [while Rosberg was there] and i think me coming along helped the team develop forward, because with Lewis we could really share all the data and work together to develop the car.”

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Valtteri was then asked about his relationship with Lewis on and off the track.

“The first few years it really bothered me that I couldn’t beat him over a season, but we always had a good relationship with a lot of respect and could be open with each other.

“There was that normal amount of tension, but I have to say the last two years I have spent a lot more time with him, travelling to races together and seeing each other outside of races, and now he’s a friend definitely.

“When we started working together he pulled me aside and said he doesn’t want to play any games and I said that I don’t either, and we shook on it, may the best man win, and that has stuck.”

Asked if he believes he could have had better results, had he taken a different approach with Lewis, the Finn said he believes it would have done more harm than good.

“I probably would have won a few more races, but i don’t think it would have won me a championship.

“And i don’t think we would have won the constructor’s this year for example without working as well together as we do,” concluded Bottas.

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