New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas expects to have “no issues” with team-mate Lewis Hamilton after stepping into the hottest seat in Formula One.
On Monday, Mercedes announced that the former Williams driver was taking retired World Champion Nico Rosberg’s vacant seat.
“Lewis is going to be a great reference, everyone knows exactly how good he is; he’s a great driver,” Bottas said.
“I am sure as a pair we can work well, I’m sure we can be good team players together.”
While the Finn has yet to be beaten by a team-mate over his four seasons in the sport, he faces a big task against Hamilton, second on the all-time list of winners with 53 grand prix victories.
“I don’t know him that well yet, but I’m looking forward to getting to know him better,” Bottas said.
“I see no issues at all between us. I am sure we can work well together, push each other on the track hard, race fair but really hard and at the same time push the team together.”
Triple World Champion Hamilton, who won 10 of the 21 races last year, saw his relationship with boyhood karting rival Rosberg go from good to glacial during their tense time together. Hamilton’s plan will be to dominate, but Bottas could be a tough nut to crack.
“My target is to perform from the very first race as well as the car can … get everything out of the car,” Bottas said.
“I know I am capable of that. I know we will be very close with Lewis. Being able to be in such a great team with great history [is] now potentially a chance to fight for the championship and for me the Drivers’ Championship is the only goal in my life at the moment.”