During their partnership, Hamilton secured 50 grands prix victories and four drivers' titles, while Bottas claimed 10 wins himself.
Bottas: It's hard to admit
Looking back, Bottas acknowledges that, to stay competitive against Hamilton, he often found himself in a state of denial.
“You have to be in denial," he told Autosport. "I was in denial for almost five years because every year, I wanted to get back to the season and then fight for the title and I had to believe in myself.”
Bottas revealed that he only truly came to terms with losing the head-to-head battle during his final season with Mercedes in 2021.
“It was only when I knew that I was leaving the team then that I noticed that I was a bit more fine with certain things.
“I was allowing [myself] to accept some of those kind of things. So, for sure, in your career, you go through those kind of things.
“With Lewis, only in the last year could I accept to myself that in equal machinery over a period of a full season, I really struggled to beat him and that he's probably better in certain areas. As a racing driver, to admit that to yourself, is hard.”
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