Lewis Hamilton names Valtteri Bottas as his ‘best team-mate’ and thanks the Finnish driver for his contribution to Mercedes after the news of his multi-year deal Alfa Romeo is confirmed
- Lewis Hamilton has shared a touching tribute to Valtteri Bottas on social media
- It comes after Bottas confirmed he was leaving Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo
- He is leaving as Toto Wolff drafted in George Russell to replace him from 2022
- Hamilton thanked Bottas for his contributions and called him his best teammate
Lewis Hamilton has shared a touching tribute to Valtteri Bottas after it was confirmed that he would be leaving Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo next season.
The 32-year-old signed a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo after Mercedes boss Toto Wolff decided to draft in George Russell to replace him from 2022.
Hamilton has since taken to social media to thank Bottas for his ‘contribution’ to Mercedes and even referred to him as his ‘best team-mate’.
Lewis Hamilton (left) has shared a touching tribute to Valtteri Bottas (right) after the news broke that he would be leaving Mercedes to join Alfa Romeo next season
Hamilton thanked Bottas for his contributions and called him his ‘best teammate’ (above)
He shared several images of himself with Bottas with the accompanying caption: ‘I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri for the last five years.
‘Together, we’ve been part of a team that has delivered four Constructors’ Championships, and we’ve motivated one another to keep pushing through the ups and the downs.
‘He has been the best teammate I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Your speed and resilience has been impressive but where you truly stand out to me is the human being you are and gentleman. You are greater than you know and I know there’s a bright future ahead for you.
Mercedes are set to hand the hottest seat in motor racing to George Russell (left) in 2022
Bottas has moved to Alfa Romeo to replace Kimi Raikkonen as he is retiring after this season
‘Thank you Valtteri for all your support and amazing contributions to this team. You will be missed. I wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Let’s finish off strong and get that 8th for the team.’
Bottas joined Mercedes from Williams in 2017 following the shock retirement of Nico Rosberg. Since then he and Hamilton have gone on to secure four straight Constructors’ titles.
As a result, Hamilton has called Bottas his best teammate – putting him above the likes of Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg.
Bottas has also achieved nine Grand Prix wins during his time at Mercedes. However, he is yet to emerge victorious in 2021.
Therefore, Wolff has opted to draft in Russell – who he sees as a long-term replacement for Hamilton.
Bottas has been at Mercedes since 2017 and said he wants to go out on a high this season
As a result, Bottas has made the move to Alfa Romeo to replace Kimi Raikkonen as he is retiring at the end of the F1 season.
Speaking after Monday’s announcement, Bottas said: ‘I am relishing the opportunity to help lead the team forward up the grid, especially with the new regulations in 2022 giving the team a chance to make a leap in performance.
‘I’m grateful for the trust the team has put in me and I cannot wait to repay their faith: I’m as hungry as ever to race for results and, when the time comes, for wins.’
Bottas added: ‘I am proud of what I have achieved in Brackley and I am fully focused on finishing the job as we fight for another world championship, but I am also looking forward to the new challenges that await me next year.
Bottas and Hamilton have gone on to secure four straight Constructors’ titles since he joined
‘When I look back on my time with Mercedes, I want to be able to say that I squeezed every drop out of this opportunity and left nothing on the table; and I want to make sure that we finish our time together as champions.
‘It has been a privilege and a great sporting challenge to work with Lewis, and the harmony in our relationship played a big part in the constructors’ championships we won as team-mates.
‘Later this year, the time will come to say goodbye – that’s not for now, but I would like to thank Toto and the team for the respect in how we took the decision together.’
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