Valtteri Bottas became ‘angry’ with Lewis Hamilton

Valtteri Bottas won 10 races during his five-year spell racing for Mercedes alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok believes losing to Lewis Hamilton got the better of Valtteri Bottas during their five-year spell together, before the Finn decided to accept a new challenge at Alfa Romeo.

Bottas was signed by the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2017 season following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement, which he announced moments after winning the 2016 title.

Bottas went on to enjoy an excellent five-year stay at the Brackley-based team, where he arguably filled the number two driver role to perfection.

He never had the pace consistently to beat the seven-time World Champion, who claimed four championships when partnered by Bottas.

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As a duo, they were unbelievably successful, with Mercedes having won the Constructors’ Championship every season in which Bottas drove for them.

The Finn ultimately decided to ditch the Germans at the end of 2021, though, in favour of a move to Alfa Romeo in the midfield.

His final year at Mercedes was by far his worst in terms of his overall performance, with him having clearly become frustrated at having been beaten by Hamilton so often over several years.

Chandhok believes the 33-year-old became “frustrated and bitter” about losing to Hamilton so often, with his poor performances having often been compared to Hamilton’s wins.

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“He just got more and more angry and frustrated and bitter about it,” said Chandhok on the Sky Sports F1 podcast.

“But I think of someone like Eddie Irvine, or someone like David Coulthard when he was up against Mika [Hakkinen] and there was a period where he was getting angrier and angrier, but then at some point, you just go, ‘there’ll be a year where the car suits me a bit better, and I’ll have a chance’.

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“But actually, guess what, you can have nine years at McLaren or whatever, make a lot of money, win some great races and build a great career.

“And this is it, I think it’s a poisoned chalice if your team-mate to Max [Verstappen], Lewis, [Michael] Schumacher, etc.

“It is quite good, because it means you’re inevitably in one of the best cars on the grid, or one of the top three, but the downside is you’re always compared to the genius in the other car.”