Bottas: 'Difficult year' ahead against Hamilton

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22 March, 2017

Hamilton, victor of 53 grands prix over his career to date, starts the season as favourite for a fourth championship and to win the opening race.

"But no team has ever maintained its success over such a big regulation change before".

The Constructors champions picked Bottas as the man to replace Nico Rosberg, who sensationally retired after winning his first world title previous year. The team also started all but one of last season's races on pole position.

"I don't fear that I will be the No 2 at Mercedes", said Bottas, whose contract with the Silver Arrows only runs until the end of the season.

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.

"Mercedes do not have a No1 or a No2 driver so it is up to me to perform".

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"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", he added. "I think in testing we managed to work well as a team", he said.

"I think he is wounded because he lost a year ago", Jordan said, as quoted by The Times.

Hamilton is the clear favourite to land what would be a fourth World Championship for the Brit, while Bottas is third favourite behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

"So I think going against Lewis I am pretty excited about that. He's a great reference - everyone knows exactly how good he is". "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". Eddie Jordan believes Hamilton will head into the new Formula One season "wounded" from previous year. If we do our work perfectly, if I do my job perfectly, it's possible [to challenge for championship]. "I see no reason why it should not continue like that", he added.

Rosberg triumphed Down Under last season, taking the Australian Grand Prix with a winning time of 01:48:15.565 to get early points on the board.


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