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Bottas is not 'Rosberg 2.0' - Wolff

Expectations on Valtteri Bottas are high at Mercedes, but Toto Wolff does not see him as another Nico Rosberg.

News 06 Mar 2017, 22:29 IST
ValtteriBottas - cropped
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas

New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is not a new version of world champion Nico Rosberg, insists team boss Toto Wolff.

Rosberg shocked the world of motorsport when he retired just five days after winning the Formula One drivers' championship last season, with Bottas drafted in as his replacement.

Like the German, Bottas has joined Mercedes from Williams without a single grand prix victory to his name – and Wolff sees similarities between the pair.

But when asked if the Finn was 'Rosberg 2.0', he told the official F1 website: "Valtteri is a Valtteri 1.0! But yes, the record looks similar.

"Both are winners in junior series - and both of them went through a solid education at Williams with some highlights, but weren't in a position of winning races because of their cars.

"We trust in Valtteri. He has done 77 races with nine podiums for Williams and has excellent records in junior categories. I think he is grown up enough to step into Nico's shoes."

Despite that trust Bottas was only given a one-year contract, and Wolff wants to see intense competition with Lewis Hamilton if the Finn is to secure an extension.

He said: "He has to integrate well into the team - which I have no doubt he will - and be quick. We want to see that the two push each other as we have seen with our drivers in the past."

Hamilton's father labelled the three-time champion a "career killer", and Wolff acknowledged the difficulties racing alongside him can bring.

"In my opinion Lewis is the best driver in modern Formula One. Also because he is driving the best car," said Wolff.

"That combination is very hard to come by. Sure, having Lewis as a team mate is probably the most difficult task you can have as an F1 driver. Does it kill careers? I don't know."

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