Valtteri Bottas makes claim over 'annoyingly talented' Lewis Hamilton

Sir Lewis Hamilton is ‘still the quickest driver on the F1 grid’ according to his former teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas raced alongside Hamilton at Mercedes from 2017 to 2021, helping the Silver Arrows win five consecutive constructors’ championships.

Although he was unable to really challenge the British sporting legend for the drivers’ title, the Finn still has 10 wins, 20 pole positions and 67 podiums to his name, making him one of the most successful drivers in the sport’s history not to have won the championship.

Though leaving Mercedes for Alfa Romeo was certainly a backwards step for the 33-year-old, his former team haven’t fared well since his departure, picking up just one win since the start of last season – courtesy of Bottas’ replacement George Russell in Brazil.

Hamilton is yet to taste victory since the new regulations were bought in and with Red Bull’s car by far and away the fastest on the grid, that winless run looks set to continue for some time.

With the seven-time world champion struggling, as rumours over his future continue to persist, many believe the 38-year-old has lost some speed over the last few years and consider Max Verstappen to be the best driver racing right now.

But Bottas, speaking on the Beyond the Grid podcast, is adamant that his former teammate is still ‘still the quickest driver on the grid’ and has explained what makes him so special.

‘Well, first of all, he’s annoyingly talented! On top of that, he works way harder than people actually think outside the race weekends.

‘And in the race weekends, he’s often the last person to leave from the paddock. It’s just that combination and he’s got big drive inside him to always deliver and do well.

‘His average baseline performance is so good and then he’s really consistent as well. It makes him hard to beat. When I could beat him, that was obviously a good day.

‘Yeah, we still have good friendship. This season, I’ve travelled with him a couple of times. We always have a good laugh.’

After five races, Hamilton is fourth in the standings while Bottas is 13th having failed to score any points since the season opener in Bahrain.

Both will be hoping for better at the next grand prix in Imola on 21st May.

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