NEW MERC TEAM MATES: Heikki Kovalainen thinks his fellow-Finn, Valtteri Bottas, will adapt at Mercedes. Image: AFP / Tom Pennington
Finland - Lewis Hamilton's former team mate Heikki Kovalainen said Valtteri Bottas should not have any trouble working with the triple world champion in 2017.
Kovalainen noted: "I have good memories with Lewis.”
Finn Kovalainen was Hamilton's team mate at McLaren in 2008 and 2009.
Hamilton’s public perception
He told Ilta Sanomat newspaper: "He is a tough team mate and an extremely fast driver but it was nice to work with him. At least I had no problem with him. Lewis is a tough team mate, but there was nothing earth-shattering in terms of what he did.
"Lewis is strong in every way but I don't think it is a problem for Valtteri or any other driver. I do not think there will be any problems.”
READ: Rosberg 'curious' to watch successor Bottas
Kovalainen, now the reigning champion of the Japanese Super GT series, admitted that his experience of working with Hamilton is different to the Briton's public perception.
Asked why that is, Kovalainen answered: "I don't want to speculate or guess, but I don't like the image of him myself. I know him better in terms of how he works. When you're not in the car, everyone can do as he pleases."
Bottas’ one-year contract
Finally, Kovalainen was asked about the news that Bottas has only been signed by Mercedes for a single year.
READ: F1 - Bottas' 1-year Mercedes deal explained
He said: "Even if you have a long contract, if it doesn't work out it can in the end be a short contract. If it does work and you do good results, then a one-year contract can work out well for you."