Lewis Hamilton has said that Valtteri Bottas was the first teammate he felt he could “really communicate with.”
Bottas will be leaving Mercedes after a five-year association. Hamilton and Bottas have been teammates for that duration, and they have achieved a lot of success together.
When the announcement came that Bottas was leaving for Alfa Romeo at the end of the season, Hamilton took to social media to wish him well, and called him the best teammate he has ever had.
In an interview with Sky Italia, Hamilton said that Bottas was the first teammate he felt he could “really communicate with.” He also said that throughout his career, he has raced alongside different personalities, but Bottas was the one who he got along with the most.
“I recently commented about my current teammate and said he was the best teammate, but you have to see what that definition means,” the Mercedes driver said.
“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,” he explained.
Hamilton also commented on the various drivers he has teamed up with throughout his career.
“When I was just a kid, I met (Fernando) Alonso. I was enthusiastic and talented, but I didn’t know how to handle everything,” Hamilton said.
“Then I found myself in different positions with (Heikki) Kovalainen, with Jenson (Button) and with Nico (Rosberg). I learned different things from each of them. Each one was a challenge.
“You can never ignore your teammate 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,” he concluded.