Former Lewis Hamilton nemesis fires back at Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas endured a tough career at Mercedes, with him almost always being in Lewis Hamilton's shadow.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has admitted that “everything is pressure” in the pinnacle of motorsport, in response to Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas revealing that his one-year Mercedes contracts caused a “lot of unnecessary pressure”.

Massa and Bottas enjoyed a three-year stint together as team-mates at Williams during 2014-2016, a time when the Grove-based team enjoyed several podiums.

Bottas was ultimately signed by Mercedes to replace Nico Rosberg in 2017, after the German retired moments after claiming the 2016 Drivers’ Championship.

The Finnish driver went on to spend five years with the Silver Arrows, where himself and Lewis Hamilton claimed five consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

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Despite being in the best car on the grid, Bottas failed to consistently challenge Hamilton for victories, something he blamed on only being offered one-year contracts by the Germans.

He admitted that had Mercedes offered him multi-year deals instead, it “would certainly have saved a lot of energy and a lot of unnecessary pressure.

“Not just focusing on the moment, but knowing you’re with the team and can focus on next year and all the improvements you want to share with the team for the future.”

Bottas, of course, left Mercedes at the end of 2021 to join Alfa Romeo on a multi-year contract, his first multi-year contract staggeringly since 2013.

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Massa is a driver who understands pressure better than anyone, having raced alongside the likes of Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, and Fernando Alonso whilst at Ferrari.

The Brazilian also had to deal with being dropped by Sauber after his rookie season, with the 41-year-old explaining that in F1 the length of contract doesn’t necessarily matter, with “pressure” being “part of Formula 1”.

“You know how it is in Formula 1, you need to be at the right moment, with the right car, with the right team, performing,” Massa told

“Also, I did the first year, driving for Sauber, and then I moved as a test driver for Ferrari. You don’t know if you will have another chance to come back.

“So, you always need the pressure. The career in Formula 1 is always like that.

“Maybe you do a two–year contract, when you are in the middle of the second year, you don’t know you will stay, you will not stay.

“Performance will give you the opportunity to stay. In the end, everything is pressure in Formula 1.

“It’s part of Formula 1. Many drivers felt that, not only me and Bottas.

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“When we are getting to the end of the championship and you have so many drivers, they are trying to show everything they can, in terms of results, to show the team that they are the right choice.

“Maybe others that are not in Formula 1, but they have the possibility to be in Formula 1.

“In the end, the pressure is part of the work in Formula 1. It doesn’t matter if you are at the top or not, you always have this working pressure to stay or to improve your contract, or to stay where you are. In the end, it’s part of Formula 1.”