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Bottas opens up on 'tricky situation' as Hamilton's Mercedes F1 team-mate

Bottas opens up on 'tricky situation' as Hamilton's Mercedes F1 team-mate

Bottas opens up on 'tricky situation' as Hamilton's Mercedes F1 team-mate

Bottas opens up on 'tricky situation' as Hamilton's Mercedes F1 team-mate

Valtteri Bottas has admitted that his five-year spell as Lewis Hamilton's Formula 1 team-mate at Mercedes was a 'tricky situation' due to the fact he was never on more than a one-year contract.

Bottas replaced the retiring Nico Rosberg – who had won the world championship in the previous season – in 2017 and remained at Mercedes alongside Hamilton until 2022.

During their time together, the Finn would record just 10 race wins compared to Hamilton's 50, with the seven-time world champion collecting four drivers' titles along the way.

READ MORE: VOTE: Who was the best non-champion driver in 2023?

Hamilton's dominance of the sport – similar to that of Max Verstappen in recent years – may have led Bottas to believe that he was simply unable to beat his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton (L) and Valtteri Bottas (R) were team-mates at Mercedes from 2017 to 2022
The Finn claimed victory on 10 occasions during his time with the team

Bottas: No regrets over tricky situation at Mercedes

Yet the 34-year-old has insisted that wasn't the case, stating that he was fully focused on fighting for the title every year he was with Mercedes.

"No, it was quite open meetings," Bottas told Autosport when asked if he needed people at the team to tell him he could beat Hamilton.

Bottas will now race for the Sauber F1 team in 2024

“Everything is based on facts and what they can see through the data on those things. You could see the average difference in qualifying or race pace. Nothing was avoided.

“I have no regrets because it was a tricky situation for me because I was every year on a one-year contract.

“I knew that if I wanted to fight for the title, I needed to be buried in this team. If I started to be an a***hole, I would lose my job pretty easily. They could always get someone else.”

READ MORE: VOTE: Who was the most improved team in 2023?

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