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BOTTAS HAPPY AT MERCEDES BUT PRAISES WILLIAMS

Valtteri Bottas has given high praise to Mercedes F1 in the lead up to his first race in silver in Melbourne this weekend.

The Finn, who fills the vacant seat following the retirement of World Champion Nico Rosberg, described his arrival at the team as “A dream come true.”

In spite of his relatively late move after Rosberg stepped down in December, Bottas feels that he is ready to take on new teammate and title favourite Lewis Hamilton.

“I think I made the most of the time that I had with the team,” he said. “Obviously it has been a massive learning curve since the middle of February. I feel more and more a part of the team and I am looking forward to the racing.”

Bottas went on to echo the words recently quoted from former Mercedes man Paddy Lowe, who made the move in the opposite direction. Lowe has returned to where his F1 career started, Williams, as Chief Technical Officer, after a long and successful stint at Mercedes.

Lowe told Autosport.com, “The process is the same and there are undoubtedly things here at Williams that are much better than they have in Mercedes already.”

Bottas, who drove in 77 Grands Prix with Williams between 2013 and 2016, said that he saw good things in the future for both teams.

“For sure I see a lot of differences, there are some things very good at Williams. There are some things massively impressive at Mercedes. There are a lot of strong points but the differences are the way they work

“Overall, as the last few years have seen, Mercedes is a winning team. Nobody is standing still and that is what Williams is doing. As a group of winners, they are pushing.

“I agree with Paddy. Williams is a great team and has massive potential. Hopefully the future is good for Williams.”

HEATH McALPINE