Valtteri Bottas: “Being Lewis’ teammate is not easy”

2021 British Grand Prix, Sunday – Jiri Krenek

Valtteri Bottas talks about joining Mercedes as reigning champion Nico Rosberg’s replacement, and says driving alongside Lewis Hamilton is “not easy but it’s also really motivating”.

Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes in 2017, after 2016 champion Nico Rosberg suddenly announced his retirement.

It was not easy to move from a midfield Williams team to a championship winning team like Mercedes, especially to replace a world champion,

“I definitely had big shoes to fill,” said Bottas.

“You’re replacing a guy who had just won the world championship and then he decided to stop. I was the next one in line and the team chose me so for sure, in this sport there’s always some form of pressure.

“But it was a big jump in my career and I had to make sure that I could make the most out of the opportunity, to perform and get a new contract for the following year.”

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Bottas also had to prove himself next to, at the time a three-time F1 champion, Lewis Hamilton.

“Being Lewis’ teammate is not easy because he’s pretty fast, both in qualifying and especially in the races.

“It makes me push myself more and always try to dig deeper or try new things because I know I need to give absolutely everything I can if I want to beat him.

“So in that sense, it’s not easy but it’s also really motivating. It’s also been really enjoyable to be honest.

“We’ve been able to work really well as a team and if you look back at the last four years, we’ve managed to achieve great things as a team.

“So it keeps me working hard,” concluded the Finn.

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