Bottas ‘won’t panic’ if Hamilton is faster

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Although Valtteri Bottas edges Lewis Hamilton in
pre-season testing, the Finn concedes that he’s on a “steep”
learning curve at Mercedes and won’t panic if his team-mate is
faster come Australia.

This season is Bottas’ first as a Mercedes driver as the former
Williams man was signed to replace the retired Nico Rosberg.

Joining Mercedes, he will take on the formidable challenge of
partnering Hamilton, the winner of three World titles.

But while Bottas had the edge in testing, he acknowledges that
may not be the case come the season-opening Australian Grand
Prix.

And should Hamilton pull in front, he insists he will watch and
learn, not panic.

“For sure I won’t give up,” the 27-year-old told German
newspaper Bild.

“And I won’t panic if Lewis is quicker. 

“From the first race I have to be right there, even if I know
that my learning curve is steep.

“Lewis is a real benchmark.

“For me, it will be interesting to see how he sets up the car
and how his driving style works.

“I’m watching a triple World Champion at work so to not use
that opportunity would be stupid.”

Bottas, though, is confident that he is up to the challenge.

“I can deliver,” he added.

“I know I was lucky with Nico retiring.

“It was always my goal to be in a world-class car some day, and
thanks to him this has now become a reality.

“Honestly, I feel no more pressure than before.

“I simply know that I have been given a special opportunity to
drive the best Formula One car ever.

“I have much more to win than lose.”

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