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Bottas gives expert advice to Perez on 'difficult' situation alongside Verstappen

The Finn reveals the advice he would give to Sergio Perez about how to deal with being in the same team as a multiple World Champion, drawing on his experience being teammates with Lewis Hamilton in an exclusive chat with RacingNews365.com.

Since joining Red Bull in 2021, Sergio Perez has found himself in a similar position to Valtteri Bottas when he drove for Mercedes; playing second to the main driver. In 2021 this was understandable as Red Bull had to back an experienced driver within the team to take the challenge to Lewis Hamilton, then in 2022 it was necessary for them to consolidate while it appeared as though Charles Leclerc posed a credible threat. Now in 2023 it looks like Red Bull is far ahead of the competition having refined their car over the winter, so now Perez has a proper shot at taking a title challenge to Verstappen. Bottas was in a similar position in 2020 when no other team posed an immediate threat to Mercedes. But, as the Finn says in an exclusive chat with RacingNews365.com , it will not be easy to beat someone who is at the top of their form. "I'm sure it's not easy for Sergio, for sure he wants to win so bad," says Bottas. "I would say he's in quite a similar situation to mine, where he's against the guy that is the most difficult to beat, he's really consistent, super talented, and he's trying." Becoming obsessed with beating his main opponent could pose other problems according to Bottas, who believes Perez needs to back himself against Verstappen. "I would say try and not to get into a spiral of trying too hard. You know, try and believe in your skill and doing your own thing. It's easier to say than do, but keep trying to get better."

Bottas: Having the fastest car and fastest teammate, it's a mixed blessing

When he joined Mercedes in 2017, Bottas found himself in one of the best cars on the grid for five years. To many drivers this is the dream scenario, but the Finn was often overshadowed by the history being made by Hamilton during his run of championships in that period. "It is mixed blessing. Whenever you're in the fastest car, you are definitely in a really fortunate position," he explains. "Every time you get on track, you do have a chance to be on pole, you do have a chance to win the race, if everything goes alright. So everyone wants to be in that situation and it is a real privilege."

Add to that how Bottas was often on one-year contracts with Mercedes, he had to perform otherwise risked being another Pierre Gasly/Alex Albon at Red Bull. In the end, just as Iceman did with Maverick in Top Gun, he often played the role of 'wingman' to Hamilton on track. While it was good enough to add to the teams record-breaking Constructors' titles, it often meant finishing second: "Exactly. Which is not nice, but could be worse."

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