Lewis Hamilton is pleased that new Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Valtteri Bottas has proven many of his critics wrong since joining the team, believing the Finn to be a “credible competitor”.
Bottas was drafted in by Mercedes for the 2017 season following Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from F1 just five days after clinching his maiden world championship.
Bottas scored a podium finish on debut for the team and took his first pole in Bahrain, but shot to the top of the rostrum last time out in Russia to claim his maiden grand prix victory.
The result did much to dispel suggestions that Bottas would be playing second-fiddle to Hamilton at Mercedes through 2017, with the Briton happy to see his teammate prove his critics wrong.
“Of course he’s a credible competitor, he was when he joined,” Hamilton said.
“I think it was many of you and perhaps people who are fans, whatever, came with preconceived ideas of how he was going to perform.
“He’s proved everyone wrong so fair play to him and he’s going to remain a competitor through the rest of the year so the fight will go on.
“We’ve stated our relationship with a really great foundation I think, a respectful foundation and I think that will continue.”
INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.
Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.
It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.
Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)