Head of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Toto Wolff, has admitted the relationship between veteran driver Lewis Hamilton and the team’s newly signed driver, Valtteri Bottas, is “respectful and friendly.”
Bottas signed for the Triple World Champions following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement in November, 2016.
Since then, the Finnish driver – who has nine podium finishes to his name – has acclimatized to the new team, testing for them during the eight pre-season days in Barcelona.
“Lewis and Valtteri are in a great place,” conceded Wolff, who has previously described Bottas as a “no-nonsense guy.”
And, that’s a quality Wolff will appreciate, because Wolff has had to deal with troubles between drivers in the past; the tense, ever-changing relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Many incidents between the pair have gone down in the sport’s modern history, most notably, Spa 2014, Spain 2016 and Austria 2016.
So far, Hamilton has on been complimentary of his new team mate, commenting after the first pre-season test, “Valtteri is doing a great job so far.”
“His feedback seems solid, he’s working great with the team and transitioning in smoothly,” added Hamilton.
Considering – in the words of Toto Wolff again – “the margins at the front of the field have shrunk,” a good working relationship could just be critical in keeping success at Brackley.