Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas is convinced that he and three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will form a formidable partnership after succeeding Nico Rosberg at Mercedes.
The 27-year-old arrives at Mercedes following four years at Williams and replaces Rosberg, who dramatically quit the sport just five days after securing his maiden world championship crown in Abu Dhabi in November.
Despite failing to win a race or even start on pole during his career, Bottas is intent on using Hamilton’s success as inspiration and stoke further prosperity for reigning constructors’ champions Mercedes.
“Lewis is going to be a great reference, he is a many time world champion and everyone knows how good he is,” said Bottas.
“It’s going to be a great pairing with Lewis and for me to compare to him, but first of all it will be to work together and push the team forward.
“I know him a little bit, we have been racing together for many years. The drivers sometimes see each other in the paddock and have a chat, but I’m still getting to know him better. If you think of the driving style and working together as a team, I can see that it can be very good.
“He obviously has more experience than me, but I see us as a good pair together, I’m sure we can work well together and share a lot of things. Hopefully we will push each other forward and that will be good for the team."
Brazil’s Felipe Massa, meanwhile, will replace Bottas at Williams after completing a U-turn on retirement plans having quit the sport just two months ago. The 35-year-old is set to partner Lance Stroll during 2017.