Hamilton says Bottas is 'best team mate I've had' as Finn announces Alfa Romeo move
With the news that Valtteri Bottas will leave Mercedes for Alfa Romeo at the end of this season, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has sent a heartfelt post on social media praising his team mate of five seasons.
Bottas joined Mercedes for the 2017 season, replacing the previous year’s champion Nico Rosberg – who announced his shock retirement from Formula 1 after winning the title – and has helped the team deliver four consecutive constructors’ championships.
ANALYSIS: Why Bottas signed for Alfa Romeo – and what it means for Mercedes, Williams and the rest of the driver market
On Monday, it was announced that Bottas would leave the Silver Arrows and drive for Alfa Romeo in 2022, replacing retiree Kimi Raikkonen.
The announcement led Hamilton – who has previously driven alongside world champions Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, as well as Rosberg – to post on Twitter, and he wrote: “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 [a] gentleman.
“You are greater than you know and I know there's a bright future ahead for you. Thank you Valtteri for all of 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 [championship] for the team.”
READ MORE: 'He will forever be part of the Mercedes family', says Wolff as Bottas announces Alfa switch
Including successes with Williams from 2014-16, Bottas has shared 51 podiums with Hamilton – six more than the Briton shared with Rosberg – while the Finn has won nine Grands Prix with the Silver Arrows.
Bottas and Hamilton have taken 2,976.5 points for Mercedes since 2017 and the team currently lead the championship with 344.5 points to Red Bulls 332.5.
This tweet has been removed from Twitter