F1

Lewis Hamilton responds to Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes exit – ‘The best team-mate I’ve had’

Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button

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Lewis Hamilton has penned an emotional farewell to Valtteri Bottas after the latter’s upcoming Mercedes departure was confirmed on Monday. Bottas will join Alfa Romeo next season, signing a multi-year deal with the Swiss team.

Hamilton paid tribute to Bottas on Twitter on Monday afternoon, sharing a touching statement accompanied by images of the duo.

It read: “I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri for the last five years.

“Together, we’ve been a part of a team that has delivered four Contructors’ Championships, and we’ve motivated one another to keep pushing through the ups and downs.

“He has been the best teammate I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

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“Your speed and resilience has been impressive but where you truly stand out to me is the human being you are and gentleman.

“You are greater than you know and I know there’s a bright future ahead for you.

“Thank you Valtteri for all your support and amazing contributions for this team. You will be missed.

“I wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Let’s finish off strong and get that 8th for the team.”

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Bottas has partnered with Hamilton at Mercedes since 2017, so far winning nine races and securing 53 podiums.

Speculation over his future with the Silver Arrows has been ripe for months, with many expecting the 2021 season to be his last with the team.

Mercedes principal Toto Wolff is currently evaluating whether to promote the brand’s junior George Russell to replace Bottas.

Russell secured his first-ever podium finish at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, albeit in controversial circumstances.

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