Bottas came to Mercedes in 2017 as a replacement for Rosberg. The German had just won the world title and had to pull out all the stops to do so. He finally beat his former friend and arch-rival in a duel for the title, but it had taken so much out of him that he immediately decided to quit Formula One.
The atmosphere at Mercedes
When Bottas arrived, the atmosphere within Mercedes was immediately much better. Fine for Mercedes and Hamilton, but Bottas is coming under increasing pressure. ''I think our strength as a team is that we really work together as a team. Of course we race each other hard, but that is all. We know very well that the team can only benefit from good, mutual cooperation,'' Bottas told Motorsport.com.
The Finn will therefore not withhold things as Rosberg has done in the past. ''As a result I won't hide data from him or do similar things. Such a good team spirit is often underestimated in the sporting world in my opinion, it is very important to keep the motivation and not to get conflicts.''
Bottas is no Rosberg
Yet the pressure is mounting on Bottas. George Russell showed in 2020 as Hamilton's replacement that he can also win in a Mercedes and as a junior at Mercedes he is the ideal successor to Bottas. So in 2021 Bottas will have to show it, but he wants to do it his way, because mind games don't even work according to him.
''I want to speak with my performance on the track and only race in an honest way. I know Lewis pretty well now and know there is no benefit to playing mental games. Of course it might be annoying for him, but I'm wasting my own energy on that too. Besides, I think such an approach will only make him angry and it will make him drive even better,'' concludes Bottas, who does recognise that he needs to make a move if he is to keep his place at Mercedes.