Speaking ahead of the 2022 season, Valtteri Bottas said he doesn’t think George Russell will be able to beat Lewis Hamilton in the same car, “in the near future”.
“I don’t see anyone else beating Lewis in the near future in the same machinery,” the Finn told SunSport.
“George will adjust well because he has been with Mercedes for some years. But beating Lewis is not easy. I have experienced that. It is his consistency in his performances.
“Every driver has form that is a little bit up and down, but his baseline for performance is just so high. Even when he has a bad day it is not too bad. It is his consistency over the season.
“Another of his key strengths is his ability to adapt to different conditions, the skill to react to changes, be it set-up or whatever.
“This and his race-craft. His tyre management is a special skill and all these things are combined with talent. And he puts in the work, which not many people see, so he is hard to beat.
“I can be proud that on my day, I’ve been able to beat him. But not consistently enough to beat him over a season.”
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After five years of partnering Hamilton at Mercedes, in 2022 Valtteri will now be a lead driver at Alfa Romeo, a change he is looking forward to.
“When I joined Mercedes, it was difficult for me to take the lead because of Lewis being there. With him being in the team, it was always difficult for me to take that lead role.
“So now it is different and a fresh start for me — and having that lead role is a good feeling. A part of me is always going to miss working at Mercedes.
“Now I have started looking back at my time there, I have tried to take all the positive moments we had. There were great moments and I enjoyed working with Lewis and Toto.
“But I am also really excited for my new chapter. I’m sure with the experience I have with Williams and after five years at Mercedes, I will be able to help the team move forward.
“I feel really comfortable with my role. Yes, there is a responsibility and I have commitments to the team, but it is exciting,” Bottas concluded.