Nico Rosberg has issued a frank warning to his Mercedes replacement, Valtteri Bottas, on what to expect from his new teammate.
Rosberg has been quoted as saying “Lewis is one of the best out there so the level is extremely high” and “I would tell him don’t expect an easy ride, that’s for sure”.
Clearly the outgoing world champion still has a lot of respect for Hamilton’s ability as a racer, even after their numerous clashes over the past four years.
Rosberg went on to say that he has been asked by Bottas for a chat in the near future and is happy to do so, but had this comment to make:
“I am happy to do that, of course – but I will stay very, very neutral. I won’t give away any Lewis secrets for example, I’ll just help him in a way to integrate better into the team”.
Undoubtedly the main focus this season will be on how well Bottas integrates into the team and indeed, if the car allows him to showcase the skill he clearly believes he has. At 27 years old with 77 starts to his name, he’s a consistent driver, showing flashes of brilliance but clearly the sometimes troubled Williams team has not allowed him to progress as much as he would like.
When asked on his intentions, the Finn said, “I’m not here to play second fiddle… I believe I can beat him”. “…Nico showed beating Lewis is possible”.
Fighting talk indeed, although common sense would say Hamilton will still have the edge, for the start of the season at least, while Valtteri settles in.
In any case, it’s sure to be a great year.