Formula 1

Mercedes' Championship winning pair.

Valtteri Bottas brings an end to bitter Mercedes rivalries

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The in-house feud between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton was no great secret.

Their tumultuous war of words, particularly during the 2016 F1 World Championship, ended in Abu Dhabi, when the German took his first and only World Championship in the very last race, following another very successful year for the Mercedes team.

Whilst their dominance was undeniable, several rifts between the top two drivers almost took the shine from yet another Constructors' Championship.

Former friends Rosberg and Hamilton had heated disputes over collisions, pit strategies, and engine problems.

The Mercedes team believed that such competition within the camp could only produce their best efforts and ultimately, their drivers ended the year as one and two.

However, upon winning the championship, Rosberg retired and paved the way for somebody else to join the ranks. 

Step forward, Valtteri Bottas.

The Finnish racer had impressed in 2016 for Williams and ended the season in 8th place, ahead of teammate and former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. 

Lewis Hamilton won the 2017 World Championship in emphatic style, with Bottas finishing third behind both Hamilton, and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. The Fin amassed 305 points and helped Mercedes towards a fourth consecutive Constructors' Championship.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi

His arrival has produced a positive and more cohesive team, heralded by both Hamilton and Wolff. 

"Nico put us in front of a fate accompli - there was not even a discussion [about retiring] - and it was difficult to find the right driver, but we gave it some time to decide and eventually we got just the right guy into the team," Wolff told Autosport.

"In the past, I always believed that a very fierce rivalry between teammates would be good for the team because they would be pushing each other.

"The lesson I learned is that is probably not true - you need two teammates that perform at a high level that keep pushing each other in the car, but the rivalry shouldn't spill over into controversy outside of the car.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU DHABI-QUALIFYING

"The mindset and the relationship between the two made us stronger, gave an open and honest environment, and fundamentally our very fast, difficult car we got it into a good place also because the two worked so well together.

"The dynamic between Valtteri and Lewis made us develop the car in a very efficient way and made us win the two championships, so not for one second do I regret where we are today."

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Topics:
Valterri Bottas
Mercedes
Formula 1
Lewis Hamilton

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