‘Hamilton-Bottas a bit like Federer-Nadal’

Toto Wolff has equated Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ rivalry to that of tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as there is a “lot of respect”.

Last season marked the end of Hamilton's rivalry with Nico Rosberg as the German walked away from Formula 1 having won a World title.

It brought an end to a fractious rivalry that saw several on-track clashes between the team-mates.

This year Hamilton has Bottas as his new team-mate and it is partnership that is, according to the Mercedes motorsport boss, based on mutual respect.

"The Nico and Lewis situation was very special because they go back a long time and there was a lot of baggage," he said.

"Some of it we know, some of it we'll never know, and it got quite tense and quite controversial at times. I don't feel that same stress in the relationship between the two of them.

"Between Vettel, Valtteri and Lewis I feel a little bit of a Federer-Nadal situation, there is a lot of respect for the competitor. I hope it can last."

He added: "As a driver, you never want to lose and you never want to lose against your team-mate, but equally I see there is a lot of respect for each other, not only in the car but also when they engage with each other.

"With Sebastian in the mix there, it's very sportsmanlike. They don't like to be beaten by the other guy but there is respect for the other person."

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