Lewis Hamilton is committed to helping Valtteri Bottas improve in 2019, after his Mercedes teammate went through the whole previous season without registering a race win. The Finn's poor fortune cost him in the early stages of 2018, before a certain win in Russia was given to Hamilton by the Silver Arrows' team orders.
Bottas became just the third F1 driver in the 21st century to go winless across a season while driving the championship-winning car.
However, Hamilton – who has often championed his colleague over the past two years – says Bottas returns re-energised for 2019 with help from the whole team.
"I'm excited for Valtteri," Hamilton told media in Barcelona. "It takes time to dig your roots into a new team, it's not an easy process, and he's been a invaluable part of the last couple of years.
"The growth has been, I think, amazing and he's really helped keep us stabilised in terms of positive energy in the team.
"So he'll continue that form but I'm sure he'll naturally reflect after each season and he'll want to be stronger this year and as a team we'll try to help him.
"Me and him actually have a very, very good working relationship – so we do talk about things with the car and work together, which I don't know if I've ever experienced that in the past. That will continue and I'm hoping we have a strong year together."
Although Hamilton has partnered world champions in Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg in the past, he repeated a familiar refrain in placing Bottas right at the top of the list.
"Every teammate is different, every teammate has different qualities, a different approach, different values and different work ethics," Hamilton said.
"Ultimately I would say Valtteri has been the most all-rounded driver in that respect and probably the most humble driver I've worked with, which is why he's such an important reason… why we have such a great atmosphere in the team.
"The team are really pushing both of us with every bit they have to elevate us and he's helped us deliver two world titles in two years, so we've got to be working on the next one."
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