Valtteri Bottas issues response to 'number two' driver at Mercedes comments

Mercedes will hope for similar success with the Hamilton-Bottas partnership, but without the controversy. This year, new regulations are making it harder for drivers to get a clean launch, but Mercedes has come up with a simple yet clever solution.

Lewis Hamilton will be "wounded" heading into the new Formula One season after losing last year's world championship to teammate Nico Rosberg, according to former team owner Eddie Jordan.

The Finn has yet to win in his 77 grands prix starts while Hamilton is a three-time world champion and has won 53 races, including 32 with Mercedes.

However, Bottas has only been given a one-year contract at the Brackley-based outfit and Lauda admits the team will analyse how the two drivers work together.

"I don't fear that I will be the number two at Mercedes." said the 27-year-old, who played ice hockey with the Melbourne Mustangs on Tuesday. "As long as I do my job so that my performance on track is at the level the auto should be, we're all good", Bottas said.

With the fastest and most reliable vehicle on the F1 grid, Bottas is expected to push his new teammate, three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, throughout the 20-race calendar.

"So I think going against Lewis I am pretty excited about that".

Wolff also says that, despite winning the past three drivers and constructors' titles, this season the clock is reset to zero and it will be a challenge for them to retain their crowns. Everybody knows exactly how good he is as a driver. "For sure it's a big challenge, there's no doubt I will definitely need to prove myself to a lot of people and to the team that I deserve the place, but I just see things very positively". We know he's talented, Finnish and capable of answering questions in a nice, polite way but it would be great if we had friction between him and Lewis, ' said Coulthard.

"If we do our work perfectly and I do my job perfectly it's possible". I see no reason why it shouldn't continue like that. "The goal for me is to start the season in a good way and get the results early on".

  • Rosalie Stanley