Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had a fierce championship rivalry from 2014 until 2016, with Lewis coming out on top in 2014 and 2015, while Nico finally managed to win the title in 2016, before surprisingly announcing his retirement.
In 2017 Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes, but failed to best Hamilton to this day. Bottas and Hamilton share a harmonious and respectful relationship, which was not the case when Rosberg was in the team. Some are suggesting that Bottas should adopt a more aggressive approach, but the Finn disagrees.
“I think that the strength we have in the team is definitely that we can work as a team,” Bottas told Motorsport.com.
“We can for sure race hard, but we can also leave it there. And we know the fact that if we can work together, that’s how the team is going to benefit in the end.
“So there’s not going to be any hiding of setups or data or anything. And the team spirit in team sports is underestimated. I think it’s really important that you keep the motivation up, and [have] no conflicts.
“Of course, along the way, there’s been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg. But I’m not a Nico Rosberg. I much prefer to do the talking on track and race fair.
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“I have also been able to get to know Lewis, and I know that there’s no benefit of trying to play with his mind.
“I’m sure it would be annoying for him, but it would be wasting my energy. And I think he will be getting even more pissed off and drive faster.
“So I think the way I’m doing things, that’s how I want to win. That is my aim.”
With the prospect of George Russell joining Mercedes sooner rather than later, Bottas is aware he needs to perform at the top of his game if he wants to keep his seat with the team.
“I’m keen to explore something, you know. I feel like maybe it’s time to try something different.
“Of course, I always look forward to the future, and there will be opportunities. But in this sport, there’s not going to be a million opportunities.
“I know that I’m not going to have 15 seasons with Lewis to try to beat him.
“I know that I really need to try and do it next year,” concluded the Finn.