Bottas: I'd stay at home if I thought I couldn't beat Hamilton

The 3 times World Champions launched the auto in an event at Silverstone earlier today (23/02), which was attended by the team's drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Bottas drove a handful of laps in the W08 at Silverstone as Mercedes a filming session on Thursday, but will begin testing in earnest next week alongside his F1 rivals at Spain's Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The 27-year-old revealed that the "vibes" with Hamilton at the moment are good, but admits the two drivers have not got a chance to get to know each other.

"My engineers say it's going to be a lot harder to overtake this year", Hamilton said. "But you get used to it immediately", he added after his first laps in the new auto at a windy Silverstone.

One thing that's very noticeable when looking at the Mercedes from the side - especially given the electric blue lines that run along the body - is hoe many different aero elements are working together to channel air to the back of the auto.

Speaking to journalists, the three-time world champion offered his opinion on the subject of Rosberg quitting the sport saying he can understand the feeling of wanting to do something different. Hamilton is embarking on a new era at Mercedes following Rosberg's shock decision to retire from Formula One just five days after he clinched the title.

"I got to go a little bit faster in some places, but it's so gusty here, so it's quite tricky, and it's wet, so I was on slicks on a damp track".

Hamilton said: "Yesterday was the first time seeing the vehicle come together".

'I don't think like that.

"I don't feel Formula One is winning, and it hasn't been for a long time", said Hamilton in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I'm going to find it odd, and it already is, being down in the garage and having someone else next to me".

"I feel this year I'm stronger again and another year I feel more complete as a driver". Every now and then I have a thought about what I'd do afterwards. It really does. I think the cars look so much better than they have in the past.

"I feel this year I am stronger".

But Hamilton's boss, Toto Wolff, made the valid point that off-field skirmishes are part of Formula One's DNA, and should not be sacrificed by the incoming management. "We will take it race by race and then find out, but we will see".

  • Angelo Rivera