bottas hamilton mercedes

Bottas: I never thought Hamilton to Ferrari would happen

bottas hamilton mercedes

Lewis Hamilton’s former Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas expects the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion to be a good fit for Ferrari when the Briton moves to Maranello next year, a switch the Stake F1 driver did not expect.

The switch was announced last week after Hamilton, 39, exercised a break clause in his new contract and signed for the sport’s oldest, most successful and most glamorous team on a multi-year deal.

“I never thought it would happen,” Bottas told Reuters at a livery launch in London for his Sauber-run Stake F1 team on Monday night.

“I thought in my mind he would stay at Mercedes but that’s Formula 1. Things happen and I think that it’s good for him because he’s obviously made the decision and it’s a fresh, new start.

“It’s a big move in F1 which is going to create some movement as well on the drivers’ market for sure,” the ten-time race winner.

Hamilton my succeed where others failed

Hamilton will join Charles Leclerc, who has a long-term contract, at Ferrari — a team that last won a championship in 2008.

Other multiple champions Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso tried and failed to win F1 Titles at Ferrari since Kimi Raikkonen was crowned their most recent Driver’s Champion in 2007.

Hamilton is the sport’s most successful driver of all time, with a record 103 wins, and Bottas expected him to fit in well at a team that is now run by Frenchman Fred Vasseur – who worked with Hamilton in his junior career.

“I think he will. He’s got so much experience of the sport. He’s dealt with many different people in the sport, I think there’s no problem on that,” Bottas said.

“I’m sure its going to be quite an exciting project for him to try and get to the top together with Ferrari. If anyone can do it, he can do it…

“I think after a few races already he’ll be well settled in and then straight on from there,” the former Mercedes driver insisted.

Bottas future not certain

Bottas’ own future remains uncertain, with the 34-year-old embarking on his 12th season in the sport. He and Hamilton were teammates at Mercedes from 2017-21, a period that coincided with a period of dominance for the team.

The Finn has been increasingly busy pursuing his interests outside the sport, active in cycling and promoting his wine, coffee and own brand of gin.

“For a long time I’ve had different projects and now I’ve really found the right setup in terms of I’ve got pretty much all my passions covered,” he said.

“Eventually, which is hopefully not going to be for many, many years, those things will for sure keep me busy (after F1) along with always driving something else no doubt.

“Anything alcohol-related in the past I wasn’t allowed to do but now with the current contract I can. I was kind of blocked before,” Bottas concluded. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

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