Valtteri Bottas has congratulated Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton on his fourth Formula 1 world championship who he’s described as “a normal human being” and felt he deserved the crown in 2017.

The Finnish driver avoided the first lap clashes between Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to dart up to second place but was powerless to stop the Red Bull driver from pulling away in the lead.

Having settled for second place, which effectively meant Vettel’s charge would be in vain needing to finish in the top two to keep the title race alive, Bottas was thrilled to see Hamilton recover to ninth place in the Mexican Grand Prix to rubber-stamp his fourth F1 world title with two races to spare this year.

Bottas has revealed the 2017 F1 world champion as a “really nice guy” since he joined the team as Nico Rosberg’s replacement after the German’s shock retirement just days after beating Hamilton to the 2016 title.

“Coming to the team, I didn't know him really at all,” Bottas said. “I had no idea how he is as a guy, I only knew he's a really good driver. He was a really good driver.

“So this year as confirmed he is a really good driver, but he's also a really nice guy. He's a normal human being as the rest of us. We've had good respect from the very beginning of the year.

“I always knew he had a lot of talent, but I didn't know he really worked so hard. I think he definitely deserves the title this year.”

Reflecting on his race Bottas accepted second place was his optimum result having been unable to match the pace of Verstappen.

“I think in some areas it was not good enough as we couldn’t keep up with Red Bull and Max so we could only fight for the podium today which is unfortunate,” he said. “It was a pretty straightforward race there was no safety car to help us for an opportunity.

“Handling-wise it was not too bad but I was missing some grip at the start and then lacking grip is the corners, that is where Red Bull has quite a bit of an advantage in races like this.”

 

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