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Image Credit: @ValtteriBottas on Twitter.

Bottas warns Russell that “beating Lewis is not easy”

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George Russell is to become Lewis Hamilton’s new teammate at Mercedes this season, but Hamilton’s former teammate Valtteri Bottas has said that George will find beating Hamilton difficult.

George Russell spent three years on loan at Williams, and came close to winning on his debut for Mercedes when he stood in for Covid positive Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2020.

Valtteri Bottas, who after five years with Mercedes, will now drive for Alfa Romeo, told SunSport: “I don’t see anyone else beating Lewis in the near future in the same machinery.

“George will adjust well because he has been with Mercedes for some years.

“But beating Lewis is not easy. I have experienced that. It is his consistency in his performances.

“Every driver has form that is a little bit up and down, but his baseline for performance is just so high.

“Even when he has a bad day it is not too bad. It is his consistency over the season.

“Another of his key strengths is his ability to adapt to different conditions, the skill to react to changes, be it set-up or whatever.

“This and his race-craft. His tyre management is a special skill and all these things are combined with talent.

“And he puts in the work, which not many people see, so he is hard to beat.

“I can be proud that on my day, I’ve been able to beat him. But not consistently enough to beat him over a season.”

Valtteri Bottas, who now at Alfa Romeo will take on the role as the team’s No1 driver, alongside rookie Guanyu Zhou, used to be referred to as the perfect “wingman” by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.

Bottas spoke about this wingman role he had at his Mercedes: “When I joined Mercedes, it was difficult for me to take the lead because of Lewis being there.

“With him being in the team, it was always difficult for me to take the lead role.

“So now it is different and a fresh start for me – and having that lead role is a good feeling.

“A part of me is always going to miss working at Mercedes. Now I have started looking back at my time there, I have tried to take all the positive moments we had.

“There were great moments and I enjoyed working with Lewis and Toto, but I am also really excited for my new chapter.

“I’m sure with the experience I have with Williams and after five years at Mercedes, I will be able to help the team move forward.

“I feel really comfortable with my role. Yes, there is a responsibility and I have commitments to the team, but is is exciting.”

Image Credit: @ValtteriBottas on Twitter.

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