Lewis Hamilton has praised teammate Valtteri Bottas describing their relationship as probably the best ever in Formula 1.
The Finn has largely played a supporting role to the now five-time champion in 2018 most notably in Sochi where he gave up the victory following team orders by Mercedes mid-race.
That is just one of the numerous occasions where Bottas has worked together with the Briton though, even earning himself the nickname of 'wingman' by team boss Toto Wolff after holding the Ferrari's at bay for most of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“This year definitely there have been times when he has been fundamental in us winning races," Hamilton claimed after winning the title in Mexico.
“I’m very, very grateful to him as a teammate and for the help that he has given me in achieving this incredible dream. So a big, big thank you to him.
"It’s the greatest partnership in terms of respect and teamwork from drivers that I’m sure has ever existed in F1 probably," he continued.
“We have such a huge respect for each other. I see how hard he works, he sees how hard I work. We don’t play games in between to try to throw off the [other] guy.
“In actual fact, we work together. There are times where I’ve figured something out in my set-up and I’ll tell [Valtteri], and there are times that I can talk to him and be open."
Though it has led to the perception of Bottas becoming the new Rubens Barrichello, drawing comparisons to the Brazilian's stint alongside Michael Schumacher at Ferrari in the early 2000's, Hamilton insists it is a privilege he has to earn.
“Ultimately the team don’t care which driver wins," he said. "There are scenarios where he could have been up ahead and I’m the second driver, and I needed to play my role.
“My goal in my mind was: 'Okay, I’ve got to make sure I’m always ahead'. If it comes to a point that you need someone to support, it’s Valtteri."
With the championship now secure though, one goal already set by the 29-year-old is to get the victory he deserves as Bottas now sits as the only top six drivers yet to stand on the top step.
“This year, he started out really strong and then he had some really difficult races," Hamilton said. “I think Baku, for example, was a huge hit for him. He deserved that win and then he got that tyre blow up.
"One of the most difficult moments of the year was in Russia for me," he added. "I think everyone in the team felt it. I think also for Valtteri it was not a great feeling.
“At the core of me, I want to win the race by winning the race," he insisted. “Being let by in Russia was a horrible feeling."
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