Rather unsurprisingly Niki Lauda is full of praise for his now four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton after securing his 4th drivers Championship, 3 of which for the Mercedes team.
The Austrian non-executive chairman of Mercedes reveals that there was zero friction between Hamilton and Bottas this year. Obviously it helps when one is rather slower than the other but both did not get in the way on the track. Quite different than in 2016, when Hamilton and Nico Rosberg broke down into a veritable guerrilla war.
“Hamilton and Bottas are not friends, but they do not hate each other” Niki Lauda told Gazzetta dello Sport.
The ex-driver in Lauda obviously never far from the surface revealing “That was just unfavourable for the team but not for the drivers back then. On the contrary, they had given each other the desire to go even faster.”
Lauda states that this title should feel more special as it was fought as a battle between teams and not team mates.
“He was not in the best car this year. For the past three years, car advantage could even make me a world champion. But with the strong Ferrari this year, it has to be said that Lewis gave us the title and not the other way round,”
On the way to the fourth title Hamilton has cracked some records it is true. But can he also reach the so far unattained record of Michael Schumacher and his seven world titles?
“The desire to always improve, makes the difference in the big ones. It’s not hard to win a the Championship if you’re in the right car, many have already done that,” says Lauda.
“But still, only a few manage to do so and Lewis is one of them. If he goes on like that, more titles will follow automatically. Whether he can beat Schumi depends on how many seasons he still has,”