Lewis Hamilton (L) and Valtteri Bottas (R) will be teammates at Mercedes in 2017. (Photo: Steven Tee/LAT Photographic)
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Lewis Hamilton’s father has fired an ominous warning in the direction of Mercedes newcomer Valtteri Bottas.
Anthony Hamilton, who guided his son’s early career in Formula One, said anyone signing up to be the triple world champion’s teammate puts their entire career at risk.
Bottas, 27, has signed just a one-year contract after being selected to replace the suddenly-retired world champion Nico Rosberg, with whom Hamilton shared an acrimonious relationship.
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“My own personal view is that anyone who goes up against Lewis really needs to have their career mapped out for them because it’s a career killer,” Anthony is quoted by The Sun newspaper.
“Lewis kills drivers. He gets under your skin, because he is fast like hell. And you can’t figure out how he’s developed the car, how he has got the speed, how he can take that corner, how he can take that lane and it screws with your head,” Anthony added.
Since entering F1 in 2007, Hamilton’s teammates have been Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button and Rosberg.
Bottas, meanwhile, has spent his entire F1 career to date with Williams, but has always beaten teammates Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa in the championship standings.
Anthony Hamilton continued: “Lewis would much rather have Nico as his teammate because they have known each other since they were 13 and it spurs Lewis on.
“It was a good rivalry but Lewis only has one desire and ambition right now, which is to claim back the title if he can.”