Sep.19 (GMM/ Valtteri Bottas admits his teammate Felipe Massa is a definite thorn in his side as he bids to up his credentials in formula one.

Earlier, the 26-year-old was the hot favourite to oust fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari next year, until Williams refused to let the Italian team buy out Bottas’ contract.

But another variation of the story is that Ferrari simply baulked at paying all those buyout millions for a driver who is often being beaten by Massa.

34-year-old Brazilian Massa, after all, drove for the Maranello team until 2013, when he was ousted for regularly struggling alongside Fernando Alonso.

But now, he is enjoying a renaissance at Williams, with many comparing Massa’s form to 2008 and 2009, when he fought for the title and humbled then teammate Raikkonen.

“I knew that he is a fast guy but yes, maybe I was a little surprised,” Bottas, when asked about Massa’s strong form in 2015, told the Finnish broadcaster MTV.

“He is quite an underrated guy,” Bottas added. “I have to work very hard in order to beat him.”