Valtteri Bottas details Lewis Hamilton battle as he names reasons for Mercedes ‘failure’

Mercedes boss hopes ‘robbed’ Lewis Hamilton will continue racing

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Valtteri Bottas has given three reasons for his Mercedes ‘failure’ – naming Lewis Hamilton as a central reason. Bottas drove for the German manufacturer for four seasons from 2017 to 2021 before joining Alfa Romeo ahead of the 2022 campaign.

The Finn is replacing the retired Kimi Raikkonen at the Italian team. 

Bottas helped Mercedes win five straight Constructors’ Championships during his time at the team but never pushed teammate Hamilton enough to become world champion himself. 

However, Bottas picked up 10 Grand Prix victories during his time with the Silver Arrows.

The 32-year-old unfortunately struggled with three things during his time with Mercedes citing inconsistency, bad luck and Hamilton.

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“I honestly feel like on my best days, whether it’s a race or qualifying, I’m unbeatable,” Bottas told The Race.

“But unfortunately, I don’t always have the best days. I can’t say I exceeded anything. 

“Where I feel like I failed, obviously I didn’t manage to win the drivers’ championship. But it wasn’t simple alongside Lewis. He always got the upper hand.

“It’s a very mental sport and I think a strength of Lewis is the consistency and rarely having any off weekends in terms of performance.

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“If it varies it’s only marginal. 

“But I have to say in the five years, there’ve been moments that I don’t know if I should cry or laugh about my luck, because I don’t really feel like I’ve been the luckiest driver with many things.

“And the same this year [2021], like the beginning of the season, was pretty much a disaster with crashes and stuff, and then what felt like almost endless engine penalties.

“It just wasn’t quite meant to be so far.”

Bottas has penned a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo ahead of the 2022 season.

The Finn will be partnered by Chinese rookie Guanyu Zhou, who took Antonio Giovinazzi’s seat.

The Italian will act as a Ferrari reserve driver and pursue a career in Formula E.

F1 will return in 2022 for preseason testing on February 23 before the opening Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.

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