Alfa Romeo‘s Valtteri Bottas has declared that former Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton is still the fastest driver on the F1 grid, despite being winless since 2021.
Hamilton comprehensively beat Bottas throughout their time at Mercedes, winning more races, taking more pole positions, scoring more points and ultimately winning more championships.
Since departing Mercedes at the end of 2021, the Finn has recognised that Hamilton is simply a faster driver and has backed that up again recently.
“I think he is still the quickest driver on the grid.” Bottas said on the the Beyond The Grid podcast. “First of all he’s [Hamilton] annoyingly talented.
“His average baseline performance is so good and he’s really consistent as well so it makes him hard to beat.
“When I could beat him it made it a very good day but on average I never quite managed to.”
Hamilton won 50 races compared to 10 for Bottas from 2017, and took 42 pole positions compared to the Finn’s 20 – the latter being a particularly impressive statistic given that Bottas is regarded as one of the best qualifiers on the grid.
Hamilton went on to outscore his ex-teammate by 591.5 points over their five seasons together and never finished below him.
Although he has various interests outside of F1, Bottas was full of praise for the Briton’s work ethic.
It is also something else that current Mercedes driver, George Russell, has alluded to despite a perception from some F1 fans that Hamilton does not work hard, or is not technically accomplished.
“On top of that, he works hard.” Bottas added. “He works way harder than people actually think outside of the race weekends and in the race weekends.
“Quite often he’s the last person to leave, from the paddock, of the drivers. It’s just that combination and he’s got a big, big drive inside him to always deliver and do well.”
The result of devastating speed and hard working nature has created a combination that has witnessed Hamilton dominate or win just about every racing series he has ever entered.
With 103 wins, 103 poles and seven Drivers’ Championships to his name, Hamilton is regarded as one of the greatest drivers of all-time.