Valtteri Bottas addresses key Mercedes question after living in Lewis Hamilton’s shadow
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Valtteri Bottas claims he has no interest in focusing on his past at Mercedes, but instead is ready to embrace a new future alongside Alfa Romeo in 2022. The Finn joined Mercedes back in 2017 as he replaced the outgoing champion Nico Rosberg, who had just beaten Lewis Hamilton to the title in 2016 before promptly retiring.
It was a much-needed break for the team after Hamilton and Rosberg shared a fiery four years alongside each other at the British-based German team in one of the most intense rivalries of recent times.
Stability proved key for Bottas, who remained alongside Hamilton for the next five seasons, but he was unable to beat the Brit during his stint at Mercedes and often finished runner up behind the seven-time world champion.
When asked if he regrets not winning a title at Mercedes, he told GPfans: “I feel like with a new chapter in my career with a new team, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue at all.
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“I have a new interest and lots of things to work on, so I don’t think I’ll be mourning, what’s the word, like being sad in the winter. I think I’ll just be looking forward to an exciting future.”
Despite his departure, the 31-year-old has spoken fondly about his time at Mercedes after helping the team win five Constructors’ Championships with 10 wins and 20 pole positions alongside Hamilton.
But the Finn admitted he has plenty still to learn as an F1 driver as he takes his next steps in the sport.
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“It’s a new chapter, a bit like what it was when I started Formula One with Williams, or when I moved to Mercedes,” added Bottas.
“Now it’s again for me a big change, a change in your team and being in the role that they promised to give me. This for me is really, really interesting and exciting.”
Hamilton hailed Bottas as the “best team-mate ever” on social media after the announcement, with Bottas finishing runner-up in the championship in 2019 and 2020.
“He has been the best team-mate I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” Hamilton added.
“Your speed and resilience has been impressive but where you truly stand out to me is the human being you are. You are greater than you know and I know there’s a bright future ahead for you.
“You will be missed. I wish you all the best for your future endeavour. Let’s finish off strong and get that eighth for the team.”
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