Valtteri Bottas has revealed that Lewis Hamilton welcomed him to the team during their brief meeting recently at the Mercedes Formula One team's Brackley headquarters.
The Finn is delighted to have a teammate of the Briton's quality and recently revealed that he is ready to challenge Hamilton for the drivers' title in the upcoming campaign. Bottas has been warned by his predecessor Nico Rosberg and Hamilton's father about the difficulties facing him when he goes up against the three-time world champion, but the former Williams driver is unfazed by the threats.
Hamilton and Rosberg shared a fractious relationship during their four seasons together at Mercedes, and the former has indicated that he does not get along well with his teammates. Toto Wolff, however, has predicted a calmer partnership between the new teammates owing to the respect they have for each other.
"I'm really happy to have Lewis as my teammate. It's a great chance for me to show my abilities. I've always wanted as quick a teammate as possible, and I really have one," Bottas said, as quoted on F1today.net
"We each had our own meetings and it was a quick greeting. He welcomed me to the team and congratulated me."
The 27-year-old Finn is yet to complete a single lap in a Mercedes F1 car, but his long-term future at the team has already been called into question. Bottas has been handed just a one-year contract with Wolff suggesting that they could look at other options in 2018 if the former Williams driver – who is yet to win a race – fails to provide the same level of competitiveness as his predecessor.
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso have been touted as potential replacements as both the drivers will be out of contract with their respective teams Ferrari and McLaren at the end of the 2017 campaign. Nico Rosberg also endorsed his compatriot's credentials and believes he will be an ideal fit for the Silver Arrows team.
"I fully understand that it's not a longer agreement at this stage," Bottas added. "Of course the team wants to see how I go. It's ok for me. That's the way it goes -- I've always had to earn my place but it seems that I know how to drive."