Lewis Hamilton has had a diverse and high-caliber set of teammates over the course of his racing career. In F1, some of these drivers have included a rivalry on track with Fernando Alonso when they both drove for McLaren, the Briton driver also battled Nico Rosberg at Mercedes as well as former McLaren team-mate Jenson Button. In 2017 Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas joined Mercedes as Hamilton’s team-mate and together they have earned four constructor’s championships for the German Manufacturer.
When you look at the impressive stats and results that both Hamilton and Bottas have accomplished so far at Mercedes as team-mates, it seems evident that they have something remarkable that other F1 teams have not been able to match in recent times with their current drivers. On the track, the two have proved to be a powerhouse team working together, and it’s no surprise that Hamilton has been vocal about praising Bottas for his help winning his four diver championships so far during their time at Mercedes as team-mates.
In an interview for Sky Italia, Lewis Hamilton was asked about who his biggest rival has been, and he responded with a discourse about his team-mates over his career so far:
“Honestly, it depends on the moment of my life I was in,” stated Hamilton.
“When I was just a kid I met [Fernando] Alonso. I was enthusiastic and talented but I didn’t know how to handle everything.
“Then I found myself in different positions with [Heikki] Kovalainen, with Jenson [Button] and with Nico. I learned different things from each of them.
“Each one was a challenge. You can never ignore your team-mate because you will learn from him or vice versa. You can make mistakes. I wouldn’t change anything about my journey alongside them, for better or for worse.
“I recently commented about my current team-mate and said he was the best team-mate, but you have to see what that definition means.
“We are in a sport where we try to win two different championships – we both try to win the Drivers’ title, but our job is to win the Constructors’ title too, so we have to work together. For the first time, I had a team-mate with whom I really communicated.
You know, ‘I felt this…’, ‘I had this feeling’. Without hiding anything from each other, trying to improve each other, helping each other to be our best version.
“It had never happened with other drivers before. It’s something unique.
“And as a human being it’s fantastic. Once we get off the track we talk like gentlemen. No tricks.”
The 2021 season will mark the end of an era for victorious team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes. Bottas has signed a contract with the Alfa Romero team for the 2022 F1 season and Hamilton will have 23-year-old George Russell as his team-mate at Mercedes next year.