Bottas spent five years with Brackley-based Mercedes after impressing earlier in his career with Williams. The Finn played a key role in Mercedes winning five straight Constructors’ Championships but there was never any doubt that he was the No 2 to Hamilton and that dynamic was tough on Bottas. The Finn gives away a big revelation about Lewis Hamilton since moving to Alfa Romeo.
“My goal was to beat him, but he was the best,” said the Finn, who further admits “I didn’t want to accept Hamilton’s superiority”. “When I joined Mercedes, it was difficult for me to take the lead because of Lewis being there,” he told the Sun.
2023 will be Valtteri Bottas’ second year driving for Alfa Romeo Sauber. The Finnish driver, after six seasons in Mercedes, has found himself in the middle of the pack and battling with teams that until recently he only saw lapped.
“So now it is different and a fresh start for me, and having that lead role is a good feeling.” says Bottas,
Waves the white flag as Mercedes favours Lewis
The #77 driver was asked about his relationship with Hamilton on the track, and he admitted how he did everything he could to beat him, he didn’t want to accept the fact that the British driver was superior, but at one point, in the final stages of his adventure with the Brackley team, he couldn’t help but raise the white flag as the team always got behind Lewis.
Bottas was once referred to as a ‘wingman’ by team boss Toto Wolff, a term that the driver took issue with at the time, and he secured back-to-back second place finishes in the drivers’ championship in 2019 and 2020.
“It was difficult to accept,” admitted Bottas.
“Only in the last moment I managed it, Hamilton was simply the best. I always asked myself how I could beat him and win the championship: it’s been a pretty gruelling five years,
“I wanted to win everything and now, but it didn’t happen and I didn’t accept it right away. About the future, we always have to aim for something better, for the best, both for me and for the whole team.
“We must always keep improving, have more consistency, more points and better results. The difficult part is how to get there, that comes from all the details and the way we work, I will do it hard together with the team.”