Arrival of Bottas will push Hamilton to a new level, claims Fittipaldi

Posted Марта 21, 2017

The 27-year-old is yet to win in almost 80 appearances, but he will start the new season among Hamilton's chief contenders for a fourth title after it was announced in January that he would partner the Briton at a team which has won 51 of the last 59 races.

Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda now tells Handelsblatt: "As far as I know, there is currently an offer on the table that allows the teams to participate in formula one".

Hamilton, who arrived in Melbourne on Monday night, will be partnered by Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas this year following Nico Rosberg's retirement.

And the famous Italian team, who failed to register a single victory previous year and are without a drivers' champion in more than a decade, will head into the new campaign cautiously optimistic.

Mercedes has made a big change to its power unit for this season and there have been rumours that it has been producing up to 70 bhp more on the dyno, but that did not seem to be borne out by its performance in testing.

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"It's a challenge we will take on with great motivation and energy. I can't see him doing a [Fernando] Alonso and not winning for three seasons".

Wolff believes that Mercedes has a proper fight on its hands this season if it is going to win its fourth consecutive world championship double.

"When things are going well, Lewis is the most recognisable face on the grid and there are moments when you see the pure enjoyment, the little boy in the man". I have been out on track watching them and, next to the previous generation of cars, these are properly spectacular cars. Everybody knows exactly how good he is as a driver. "I see no reason why it shouldn't continue like that.".

Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, March 9.

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