New Mercedes recruit Valtteri Bottas has said he has what it takes to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the World Championship title.
Questions are already being asked as to whether the Finn is capable of perfoming at the top level following his switch from Williams, but he has been encouraged by Nico Rosberg’s exploits last year.
“I feel it is possible,” Bottas told Sky Sports in Germany. “Nico showed beating Lewis is possible.
“But i really respect what he has done with his career. He has so many poles, wins – three titles – and i still don’t have a race win. I have a lot to prove.”
Bottas was also asked more specifically about his title chances and, while he conceded that he does have strong competition, he stated he has not moved to Mercedes to simply be a number two driver.
“If the car is the strongest, yes [I can fight for the title],” he added.
“I’m not here to be in second place or worse. It is definitely a challenge, and going up against Lewis is always going to be a challenge.
“But for me, it’s a massive opportunity. Everything is still ahead, so it’s going to be an exciting year.”