Bottas' seat at the world championship-winning constructor is in peril with George Russell waiting in the wings, and with fuel only added to the fire by Bottas' radio frustration broadcast at the French Grand Prix last weekend.
Neither Mercedes driver has a contract that carries into 2022 when F1 enters a new era with radically changed cars but Hamilton confirmed he had opened talks over an extension.
"We have begun discussions," said Hamilton. "Not a lot to say but we have started discussions and things are positive."
On Bottas, he explained: "Valtteri is my team-mate now and both of us have had our ups and downs in our careers. He is a fantastic team-mate and I don't necessarily see that it needs to change."
Asked for a word on George Russell potentially being his team-mate, Hamilton replied: "Well he's not my team-mate currently so I don't need to say anything."
Mercedes must work on communication
Hamilton's championship rival Max Verstappen charged past both Mercedes drivers at the end of last weekend's event at Paul Ricard on fresher tyres, after being allowed to pass with ease by team-mate Sergio Perez.
This teamwork was in stark contrast to the one-and-a-half seconds lost by Hamilton as he attempted to get past Bottas on a different strategy at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The seven-time champion insisted work can be done to ensure the communication runs as smoothly as it did at Red Bull last time out.
"I think we can always make improvements, for sure," he said. "If you look at the Red Bulls, of course, I saw the video of Sergio and Max.
"A few seconds later it could have been mid-corner and they would have lost more time so it was just a perfect time that he happened to meet him on track and I guess potentially a little bit different from in Barcelona.
"We will continue to work well as a team, we have worked well as a team for many years.
"As I have always said, Valtteri has been the best team-mate overall. When I say team-mate, it is not just about driver performance, it is about team morale, it is about how you work in the team-mate environment.
"We will continue to improve on our communication and hopefully do better."
What do you think?
He will love to have his white slave riding shotgun for him.
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