Valtteri Bottas not daunted by Lewis Hamilton challenge, eyes 2017 title

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Valtteri Bottas insists he will not shy away from the challenge of partnering Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes as he eyes the first Formula One title of his career.

Bottas has joined Mercedes for 2017, creating the daunting prospect of driving alongside three-time world champion Hamilton, who has won 31 races over the past three years. Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has suggested this season's new regulations could help Bottas adapt quickly, with the team expecting the Finn to be competitive.

Bottas is convinced he can rise to the challenge and says his main focus for 2017 has to be the world championship.

"My goal is the championship, I really have the opportunity to get it," Bottas told Finnish broadcaster MTV. "The immediate objective is to fight against him. We expect to be able to roll many kilometers in the winter tests and, if all goes well, we will have a reliable and fast car."

Though Rosberg has says he will not advise Bottas on how to beat Hamilton, he has spoken to the Finn about life at Mercedes. Bottas says the advice from the retired world champion was invaluable.

"It was good to talk to him. Nico has been in the box for a long time and knows perfectly how things work from the pilot's point of view."