Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has shared his views on exactly why he believes seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is still keen to stay in the sport despite Mercedes failing to make a mark this season.
This season has been a major roadbump as far as Hamilton’s career is concerned, with the Stevenage-born driver having failed to notch a single win in the campaign so far.
He has often been outshone by new recruit George Russell, but recently offered his opinion on why the youngster has seemed more comfortable behind the Mercedes W13.
Bottas himself has had a credible outing across the season and having spent a number of years as Hamilton’s teammate, the Finn believes he understands his psyche better than many.
The events that transpired in Abu Dhabi last year is one of the biggest factors behind Hamilton choosing to extend his stay in the sport, according to Bottas.
“I think he’s not satisfied with obviously the end of last year, and also this year,” Bottas said.
“He seems like he is still enjoying it, and I think recently he’s been back at his level again. Why not [stay]? He loves racing.”
Hamilton may well continue to race into his 40s despite many people initially believing that the seven-time world champion would cut his career short to pursue one of his other interests in the entertainment industry.
Pointing to the example of Fernando Alonso, 41, who has recently signed a multi-year contract with Aston Martin, Bottas believes F1 drivers even at this age still have what it takes to compete at the pinnacle of motorsport racing.
“Obviously, every driver’s individual,” Bottas said.
“I think it’s a lot up to you; if you still want it, if you still want to be competitive, you can.”
Russell also happy to race with Hamilton
Meanwhile, Russell is also happy that he will get to spend many more years with Hamilton as his teammate.
The fact that Hamilton is an extremely competitive driver who will continue to push him as well as his years of experience in the sport are just some of the reasons that makes him the ideal teammate for Russell.
“It’s really exciting to have that potential of Lewis staying on for a number of years to come,” Russell said.
“I think he has proven that he’s definitely not lifted his foot off the throttle pedal, and he’s definitely [in] the last few races performing probably better than ever.”
“It’s really exciting for me to have the opportunity to be his teammate, to go directly head-to-head with him and grow on this journey that we’re on together, because it really does feel like a journey that the two of us are on, along with the rest of the team, in trying to bring Mercedes back to winning ways,” Russell added.
“So I think we’ve got a really, really great, transparent relationship and it would be great to be teammates for a number of years to come.”