That’s the opinion of F1 pundit Martin Brundle who was impressed with Bottas as he stormed to victory at the Australian Grand Prix.
The Finn leapfrogged Hamilton at the start and dominated the world champion in Melbourne.
And Brundle thinks the pressure Bottas is under will make him a different proposition for Hamilton to deal with in 2019.
Esteban Ocon is the reserve driver for the team and was unfortunate not to secure a drive for the current season.
And Bottas knows any slip-ups and he could be out of the car at the end of the year.
Brundle told Sky Sports: “In other news, what a wonderful performance from Valtteri Bottas, turning it into a one-horse race.
“Lewis Hamilton had to pull out every ounce of considerable talent he has to snatch pole position in the Mercedes front-row lock-out, but he had no answer for Bottas’s fast start and race pace.
“Valtteri simply looks more rugged and determined, and when I interviewed him in the parc ferme as he took his skid-lid off he looked initially ferocious and then part-bemused as the adrenaline faded away.
“He has nothing to lose this year, every time he walks into his garage he can see Esteban Ocon in team gear and headset, waiting to pounce on his seat. ‘To whom it may concern’ and all that, although the season consists of 21 races of course.
“His absolute determination to grab the new-for-2019 extra point for fastest lap was very telling about his new-found confidence.
“He was not simply satisfied to have thrashed his team-mate and scoring 25 points along the way.”
Bottas secure all 26 points available in Melbourne to give himself the ideal start to the 2019 F1 season.
“It was definitely my best race ever,” said Bottas after the race.
“The car was perfect. It was truly enjoyable.”
Next up is the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 31.