F1: Nico Rosberg offers to step in if Vettel gets suspension
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Nico Rosberg has sensationally hit back at Lewis Hamilton after the Mercedes star praised Valtteri Bottas following his announcement that he was signing with Alfa Romeo. The Finnish driver made way for George Russell to move to the Silver Arrows for the 2022 season.
After Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo was confirmed, Hamilton referred to Bottas as the best team-mate of his career, which has appeared to unsettle Rosberg.
Hamilton and the German came through the ranks as youngsters but their relationship turned sour when they were competing against one another for the world championship.
Rosberg beat Hamilton to the world championship during a dramatic 2016 title race which led to the relationship between the two becoming fractured.
Hamilton beat Rosberg to the title in 2014 and 2015, but Bottas has struggled to push the Brit since arriving at Mercedes in 2017.
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Rosberg believes the working relationship between the compliant Bottas and seven-time world champion Hamilton was what made the Brit want to keep the Finn around.
“Bottas was super useful,” Rosberg said at a sponsors’ event at the Dutch Grand Prix last weekend.
“He never beat Lewis and they were super chill. That’s why Lewis says [Bottas] was his favourite team-mate of all time.
“I wanted to write [under the Instagram post], ‘what about me?’”
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The Instagram post Rosberg is referring to is Hamilton’s message in response to the news of Bottas’ departure.
The seven-time world champion posted several photos of himself and Bottas throughout the years, along with the caption: “I’m immensely proud to have worked alongside Valtteri for the last five years.
“Together, we’ve been part of a team that has delivered four Constructors’ Championships, and we’ve motivated one another to keep pushing through the ups and the downs.
“He has been the best team-mate I’ve had the pleasure of working with. 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 to 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.”
The path from Williams to Mercedes appears to be a well-trodden one, with Russell mimicking the switch Bottas himself made back in 2017.
The Finn was promoted from Williams to the German manufacturer to replace reigning world champion Rosberg after he decided to retire prematurely following his championship win.
Bottas is Hamilton’s longest-serving team-mate, lasting five seasons between 2017 and 2021.
Their time together beats the likes of Fernando Alonso (2007), Heikki Kovalainen (2008-2009), fellow Brit Jenson Button (2010-2012) and fierce rival Rosberg (2013-2016).
Rosberg is now a pundit for Sky Sports F1 and his relationship with Hamilton has deteriorated since their battle at Mercedes.
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