Lewis Hamilton: F1 champion makes admission about Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas | F1 | Sport


Hamilton secured the fourth World Drivers’ Championship of his F1 career this season after fighting off Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel.

And his tally of 363 points at the top of the drivers’ standings meant he finished the campaign a healthy 58 ahead of Mercedes team-mate Bottas.

Hamilton racked up nine race wins in comparison to the Finn’s three as he reasserted himself as the German constructors’ No 1 driver.

The 32-year-old believes he will have to be weary of the threat posed by Bottas when the 2018 season gets underway though.

“Valtteri’s been an amazing team-mate this year,” said Hamilton.

“It’s not easy at all to go to a team for the first year, particularly as you already had plans to be somewhere else at the beginning of the year.

“You then have a very short period of time to get used to a new team, learn the new systems, learn the tools which you’ll use during the year.

“It takes a long time to learn how to manipulate the car to help extract your performance, so he hit the ground pretty fast at the beginning of the year.

“Then another part of it is the pressures of fighting for a World Championship is not the easiest of things.

“There are drivers who have sustained a little bit then fallen back and never recovered from that mental fight that you have.

“He’s very strong minded and he came back and finished up strong so I anticipate he’s going to be stronger next year, so I’m going to make sure I’m on my toes.”

Hamilton opened up on his relationship with Bottas too having clashed with former Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

“There’s incredible respect between us and our work ethic is similar and I think our family morals are similar,” he added.

“Ultimately we want to win the right way through being the fastest on the track, and there’s nothing in the background happening at all, there’s zero, there’s perfect harmony within the team.

“We just want to be quickest on the track, he’s not trying to do it any other way but through his talent, and he sees that with me, which is why it’s super easy to get on.”

Hamilton will be hoping to get his F1 title defence off to the best possible start at next March’s Australian Grand Prix.

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