Hamilton says there’s “really good respect” between him and Bottas

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

There is no doubt that Lewis Hamilton is a lead figure at Mercedes right now. The Briton has won all but two championships since joining the team in 2013.

The first time Lewis didn’t win the championship was in 2013, when Mercedes wasn’t a top team just yet, and again in 2016, when his team-mate Nico Rosberg managed to beat him.

The duo of Hamilton and Rosberg had an intense rivalry from 2014 until 2016, when the German driver retired. Now Hamilton has a more harmonious relationship with team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

“I would say I’ve naturally grown over time, so learning more and more how to be a team player and a team leader.

“I really don’t think I’ve changed the way that I work [since losing the title to Rosberg]. I generally keep myself to myself, I work with my team.

“I think [Bottas and me] have really good respect between us. When he wins, he knows he’s done it outright on hard work, and if not then he knows that he just has to work harder next time.

“We continue to work on our relationship, colleague-wise and competitor-wise, in the background and we don’t let whatever’s happened on track filter into when we get out of the car.

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“The great thing I’ve always taken pride in for myself is that I have to do the job on the track, can’t blame any other factors, can’t be trying to alter other factors outside in order to affect the outcome of a race.

“If I get beaten on a day, I need to do a better job, and if I win naturally it’s great,” concluded Hamilton.

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff says the team’s two drivers’ harmonious relationship helps Mercedes be so dominant.

“I think it’s completely normal that there’s always a rivalry and that is the name of the game,” said the Austrian.

“Harmony is the wrong word because between two team-mates harmony is difficult and we completely comprehend it. We’re not out racing because we seek for harmony on the weekend.

“I think it’s a very productive environment now where things are being done. We’re not taking each other so seriously sometimes and the talking is being done on the track.”

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