Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas expects to race Lewis Hamilton on 'equal terms' in 2017

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Valtteri Bottas 'hungry' for success at Mercedes

Valtteri Bottas expects to be allowed to race on "equal terms" with Lewis Hamilton after being confirmed as Nico Rosberg's replacement at Mercedes.

Bottas, 27, has signed a one-year deal with the option for more after arriving from Williams.

"We are in this together, with similar cars and equipment to win races. I'm sure they will let us race hard and fair," the Finn told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Lewis is a great driver and everyone knows how quick he is."

Bottas, who made his grand prix debut with Williams in 2013, has not won a race in F1, while Briton Hamilton is a 53-time race winner and three-time world champion.

"It's going to be a big challenge for me to be quicker than him," added Bottas.

"He knows this team really well, has been part of this team a long time, so for me it's going to be a great reference and we can be a strong pair."

Rosberg's shock retirement, announced just five days after he wrapped up his maiden world title, presented Bottas with an unexpected chance to land the most coveted seat in the sport, and team boss Toto Wolff expects him to rise to the challenge.

"They are very different and not in the same way that Nico and Lewis were," Wolff said. "Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve and is a very passionate and emotional driver.

"Valtteri is at the other end. As a Finn he is almost shy, timid, and I think as a team you need to have the best of both worlds.

"Lewis is probably the best driver in the world at the moment and if he gets it together on a weekend he is, in my opinion, almost unbeatable, but Valtteri has all the ingredients.

"We haven't seen him in a car that has been capable of challenging for championships, and that is a different step, but I certainly think Valtteri can give Lewis a run for his money."

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