Bottas with a very open and honest podcast talking about racing against Lewis:
host (oskari saari): you’ve been also following from very close distance someone who i think is the – well, let’s but it this way, one of the greatest f1 drivers of all time, who has been your teammate: lewis hamilton
vb: i can say that the greatest of all time
oskari: what makes him the greatest?
valtteri: i have never before, until a few days ago when i saw lewis (my note: my understading is that this episode was filmed a little after the mercedes factory celebrations), said that to anyone, because it’s compeletly against the nature of a racing driver to say someone is better than you. so i told lewis that you’re the first and only person i’m saying this to, but you’re better than i am, and you’re the best in the world. and lewis is! he’s been through a hard childhood, he’s got the talent and natural ability towards this sport but he also works incredibly hard. when lewis is working he works so hard that he makes sure he stays in that top level. when you but together the talent, the experience and the the hard work he does, you have to say that he is in his own level compared to literally everyone else. of course i have my days when i can beat him which always feels great, but when you but together the whole season i simply can’t beat him. lewis’ stability over a season, how rarely he has bad weekends and how he can always maximize every situation - you know it’s always about very small things but the stability is where he is a step forward. maybe it’s about having better nerves or something else, but to me he is in a different level than anyone else in that paddock.
oskari: i don’t think anyone is in a better place than you to observe these things, so we’ll take your word for it. i think many would also become very demoralisized by that but to me it’s seems that for you it’s the opposite.
valtteri: yeah i mean it did take many years, literally it was a couple of days ago that for the first time i could really admit it to myself and also tell lewis that. the first years i was really fighting that and i strained myself a lot - thinking you know, it can’t be, i can beat everyone, but to me now i’ve just had to accept that that’s how it goes. i think in every sport there has to be someone who is the greatest of all time and it’s obviously not me, but it has not always been far off you know. lewis also told me that there has been days where he has felt that he has performed in a really good level but still didn’t beat me, and to me i can take positives from things like that. that you know, on my days no one can beat me but those days just simply aren’t everyday.
oskari: so the difference is over a very long season. do you think that in a way it’s inspiring having witnessed all of that from so closely?
valtteri: absolutely, and i have learned a lot. like i said it’s all about very small details and there is just certains things where he is a step ahead – specially with lewis on sundays he can always find some extra energy and power no matter the situation.
oskari: do you think that it has fed your hunger to be the best having witnessed how lewis does things?
valtteri: absolutely: as long as you are in this sport i think you can get better and find always something a little bit extra. i truly think that i can still get better even though i’m 32. so of course it’s still a dream to some day be the best. i also have to say that lewis did tell me that he has learned a lot from my driving as well. we have honestly quite similar driving styles, but of course still different, and many times there has been some corner where he has never managed to beat my time but gotten really close, and he said that if he wouldn’t have seen how i do places like that on the track he wouldn’t have been able to get a great time in quali, so i think our teamwork has been great in that sense also.
source: https://eleyhsa.tumblr.com/post/6731666 ... -means-new
this is a translation of a podcast.