Lewis Hamilton comments on Valtteri Bottas may help keep George Russell threat at bay

F1: Lewis Hamilton goes for a seaside run

Lewis Hamilton was right to speak highly of Valtteri Bottas as it keeps his position as Mercedes’ No 1 star that ever more secure. There was talk that the Silver Arrows could replace Bottas with rising talent George Russell.

Russell stepped in for Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix and would have won the race had it not been for a horrific double-stacked pit stop and late puncture.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff admitted that the 22-year-old had jumped to the front of the queue to drive for his side.

But Hamilton will remain as the main man while Bottas is driving alongside him.

The pair have spent three years as team-mate with Hamilton coming out on top in the majority of their battles on the track.

Questions are regularly raised of Bottas’ title credentials but Hamilton always his Finnish ally – and he has a good reason too.

“When I talk about people need to give Valtteri his due respect,” Hamilton said in November.

“I think you’ve got to remember who he’s driving up against; it’s not easy being my team-mate, you know?

“But he comes in, weekend in weekend out, with the same mentality, he’s never moaning, complaining that… something’s wrong with the car, it’s always ‘I’ve got to do a better job’, and I don’t know any driver that does that.

“I think that’s something we share in common: We come into this weekend with a fresh head, and I think mentally, he’s one of the strongest drivers here.”

It is not completely unconventional for team-mates to not get on – just look at Mercedes’ 2016 pairing.

Nico Rosberg and Hamilton were at each other’s throat as they battled for the world title, which the former won.

If Mercedes were to bring in another threat to Hamilton’s crown, who is to say that the relationship may not become a little bit toxic?

They would obviously spur each other on to even greater heights but it can also cause issues behind the scenes.

As it stands, Hamilton has it cosy with the Brackley-based company. He is clearly the main man around the place and he doesn’t want that to change.

Constantly backing his team-mate will help convince the hierarchy that Bottas is the right man for the job and he is completely right to keep it going.

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