LEWIS HAMILTON drove alongside Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes for five years.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have battled closely on track (Image: GETTY) SUBSCRIBE Invalid email
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Valtteri Bottas has hinted that Lewis Hamilton faces a much longer process trying to “implement” his own ideas at Mercedes than the Finnish driver does now at Alfa Romeo. Bottas and Hamilton were team-mates for five years at Mercedes with George Russell eventually replacing him for this season.
The 32-year-old is now driving for Alfa Romeo where he has had to get used to driving in the middle of the pack. Ironically, Mercedes too have often been racing with Alfa Romeo and Bottas on the track in particular due to their sluggish start to the season.
But during Bottas’ time at Mercedes, the Silver Arrows were the dominant force in F1. At one of the biggest teams in the sport, Bottas had all the tools at his disposal needed to compete at the front of the grid.
Things are different for him now at Alfa Romeo, but that hasn’t taken away many positives that come with that. Bottas points out one of the biggest advantages to swapping Mercedes for Alfa Romeo is that he’s now able to put forward his ideas much quicker and easier.
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Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes at the end of last season (Image: GETTY)
And he indicates that Hamilton won’t have that at Mercedes due to the numerous departments at the team. When asked what are the advantages of driving for a ‘smaller team’, Bottas told Auto Motor Und Sport: “You can implement things quickly.
“An example. When I had an idea for a new part on the car or a different setup at Mercedes, it was a long process before it was implemented. There were always many people and departments involved.
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“At Alfa I can walk into the factory and talk directly to the people responsible. For example, I had certain ideas about the mechanical balance of the car.
“The engineers said: ‘Yes, let’s try it’. And it worked. We did the same thing with one or two other things.”
Bottas has already beaten Hamilton once on the track this season, back at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix when he clinched fifth while the seven-time world champion finished 13th. There have been some close battles between the pair two, particularly in Miami, Barcelona and Monaco, with Hamilton finishing just ahead of his former team-mate on all three occasions.