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Engineer switch aiding Bottas, claims Hamilton

NEWS STORY
10/05/2019

While claiming that Valtteri Bottas is his best teammate ever, and that because of the mutual respect the pair have for one another there is no chance of the hostility that marked his 'partnership' with Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has come out with a comment that has all the hallmarks of the sniping that permeated the Briton's relationship with the German.

Heading into the Spanish GP weekend a point behind his teammate, who leads the championship, Hamilton cites the fact that Bottas now has his former engineer as one of the reasons for the Finn's improved form this year.

At the end of last year, Bottas' former race engineer Tony Ross, left to head the German company's Formula E team, with Hamilton's former performance engineer, Riccardo Musconi, moving across the garage to work with the Finn.

"This year he has my number two engineer," said the Briton, "so my second engineer for the last two years has been promoted to head engineer for him, so that will be a nice helping hand.

"He is learning a lot from that," he added. "That's to be expected, the little bit of a step he's taken.

"I've got a new engineer," the Briton continued, "and we are working really well together, but it takes time to build relationships with people and to continue to grow. So when you take one element away, whatever element you take away, initially it's not as strong as something you have built over six years.

"We are building back to being stronger and trumping that. It's only been four races, so watch this space."

Asked about Bottas' resurgence after what the Finn described as his "worst season ever" in 2018, Hamilton said: "You could say he looks a little bit more focused than he was in previous years.

"The things he is doing on track, which my engineer has obviously encouraged him to do, the things I was doing with settings he is now doing and he has definitely moved in the right direction there. Otherwise he is still the strong Finn that he has been before."

"I have a completely new engineering team," said Bottas, "a new race engineer and also a new performance engineer.

"For sure when you have new people around that makes you think out things differently," he admitted, "it opens new routes on your way of thinking about the set-up, opens new directions and it has started really well.

"We've been learning a lot, as an engineering team all the time, and it's getting better and better. So, so far, so good."

Early days, but Hamilton's comments really do sound somewhat catty, and despite the talk of respect and best teammate ever, one cannot help feeling that if Bottas 2.0 maintains his current form things could soon start to change.

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1. Posted by F1nerd, 11/05/2019 10:33

"Not a "well done" or anything good to say about his "best team mate ever" it is my engineer that has made the changes and with a new engineering team for Himself is the reason for him not beating the Finn at every race.
Boohoo baby."

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