Lewis Hamilton mind games discussed as Valtteri Bottas claims he’s ‘no Nico Rosberg’

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Valtteri Bottas has claimed he’s ‘not a Nico Rosberg’ and has no intention of having the kind of tumultuous relationship Lewis Hamilton had with his former Mercedes teammate. Bottas finished 2nd in last season’s championship, trailing the seven-time world champion by more than a hundred points.

With George Russell completing his final season with Williams, Bottas is aware of the pressure on him individually, but is still prepared to put the team first.

“I think that the strength we have in the team is definitely that we can work as a team,” Bottas told Autosport.

“We can for sure race hard, but we can also leave it there. And we know the fact that if we can work together, that’s how the team is going to benefit in the end.

“So there’s not going to be any hiding of setups or data or anything. And the team spirit in team sports is underestimated.

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“I think it’s really important that you keep the motivation up, and [have] no conflicts.”

Hamilton is yet to commit his future to Mercedes, with contract talks said to be ‘like a game of chess’.

The Brit appears likely to return to the track as he looks to move clear of Michael Schumacher’s Drivers’ Championship record.

And should he come to that decision, Bottas has no intention of creating any kind of negative atmosphere, similar to the one previously seen during Rosberg’s stint alongside Hamilton.

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He added: “Of course, along the way, there’s been many people suggest I change to be a Nico Rosberg. But I’m not a Nico Rosberg. I much prefer to do the talking on track and race fair.

“I have also been able to get to know Lewis, and I know that there’s no benefit of trying to play with his mind.

“I’m sure it would be annoying for him, but it would be wasting my energy. And I think he will be getting even more pissed off and drive faster.

“So I think the way I’m doing things, that’s how I want to win. That is my aim.”

With Russell likely to come back to Mercedes for the 2022 season, Bottas has hinted he will need to ‘try something different’ in order to secure his long-term future.

“I’m keen to explore something, you know,” said Bottas. “I feel like maybe it’s time to try something different.

“Of course, I always look forward to the future, and there will be opportunities. But in this sport, there’s not going to be a million opportunities.

“I know that I’m not going to have 15 seasons with Lewis to try to beat him. I know that I really need to try and do it next year [2021].”

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