Rosberg warns Bottas about Hamilton rivalry

Posted February 17, 2017

He also played down reports that Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda has given Bottas only four races to get up to speed in 2017 as an effective replacement for the retired Nico Rosberg.

Valtteri Bottas will be given the same opportunities as Lewis Hamilton to fight for this year's race wins and the World title, insists Toto Wolff.

Nico Rosberg has stated that his desire is to rebuild his friendship with Lewis Hamilton now that they are no longer rivals on the Formula One circuit.

"What I like most about F1 is that it's a mechanical sport and it's not just about putting two riders on the track, it's about developing two good cars so that the drivers can get the best out of their talent". I am not here to be in second place or worse.

The German had spent years trying to beat Hamilton, a triple world champion who moved to Mercedes from McLaren in 2013, in Formula 1 after a previous rivalry in karting when they were teenage teammates.

Hamilton won more races (10) past year than Rosberg (9) but missed out on a fourth championship due to technical problems and a disastrous power unit failure in Malaysia while leading.

"I really respect what he (Hamilton) has done with his career, so many poles and wins and three titles". Brought in as a replacement for Nico Rosberg, Bottas says he takes confidence from his predecessor proving he can get the better of Hamilton in the same vehicle.

"I trust Daniel Ricciardo, and above all Max Verstappen, a lot".

"I see no obstacles for me and Lewis to work well together", Bottas said.

The 31-year old said he would be happy to give the Finn some advice ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in March. "I won't give away an Lewis secrets, for example I'll just help in a way to integrate better into the team".