Sports

Bottas sounds warning to Hamilton’s rivals after Abi Dhabi controversy

LONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 28 – Valtteri Bottas believes “living legend” Valtteri Bottas is going to make life very difficult for his rivals in 2022 after last season’s controversial finale.

Hamilton looked to be on course for a record eighth Formula 1 world title at the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi until a controversial last-lap decision to release the frontrunners from under the safety car allowed Max Verstappen to snatch victory – and the title – instead.

Bottas, who partnered Hamilton at Mercedes for five years but will be driving for Alfa Romeo this year, believes his former teammate has a serious point to prove and has no doubt he will prove it.

“After everything that happened at the end of last year, you’ll see,” said Bottas.

“He will be pretty strong and he will have the fire inside him, so beware!”

Bottas moved to Alfa Romeo in 2022 after a successful five years with Mercedes that resulted in 10 race wins, 57 podium finishes and, together with Hamilton, five Constructors’ Championships.

“I absolutely feel I have still so much to do to get better and so much more to give to this sport,” he said.

“As a driver, you never stop learning as long as you want to.

“So, of course I’m always looking at areas I can be better and it truly feels like now I can just be the best version of myself instead of trying to be something else and trying too hard.

“But in the end it will be a team effort. And I don’t see me as the only leader of the team, we are in this together. That’s the feeling.

“Of course I can guide the way they go if I feel like I have experiences from the past, but in the end we are in this together with Guanyu [Zhou] and the whole team and with Robert [Kubica, reserve/development driver] as well.

“But for now, it’s been a nice atmosphere. I’m more than happy to be here and again, I want to thank the team for this opportunity.”

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