Valtteri Bottas doesn't need to defend his performances for Mercedes, says Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is reportedly a keen admirer of youngster George Russell and considering offering the 22-year-old a car in the future but Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton has insisted that he is perfectly happy racing alongside the Finn, who finished a distant second in the Drivers' Championship in 2020.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talks with teammate Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP on the grid prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on December 13, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Bottas' contract with Mercedes expires in 12 months' time but Hamilton is perfectly happy racing alongside the Finn.
"I don't think Valtteri needs to defend his performance, and I don't feel like I need to," Hamilton told motorsport.com.
"I think he's continued to work at it, and we've definitely had very, very close qualifyings, particularly this year.
"Like I said before, it's never easy having strong team-mates. It's a constant battle between you, both mentally and emotionally throughout the year.
Lewis Hamilton not happy with his car
"What's really great with us is that we fight it out hard on-track, but then when we're outside, we manage to maintain a gentleman working relationship, and I think that's a big showing of his personality and character as a man.
"I know next year he is going to be taking more steps, so I've got to work a way and figure out how I can find some more speed for next year."