F1 Australian GP: Ricciardo tips Ferrari to match Mercedes in Melbourne

Posted March 22, 2017

"What we've seen from Barcelona is that the margins at the front of the field have shrunk", Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said.

"I feel like I have plenty to prove, not much to lose. more to win - I can't wait", Bottas told CNN's The Circuit.

"The target with these new regulations was to make this generation of F1 cars the quickest in the history of the sport", Wolff said.

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Bottas came in to fill the void left by the departed Nico Rosberg, who stepped down at the top of his game last season after being crowned world champion.

Unlike most road-going cars, modern Formula One cars use a steering-wheel mounted paddle to the control the clutch.

Bottas has already proved himself in the new Mercedes vehicle during pre-season testing in Barcelona where he topped the time-sheets on two occasions and said he has no doubts Mercedes will honour his equal status with Hamilton this season. And the Italian team, who failed to register a single victory a year ago and are without a drivers' champion in more than a decade, will head into the new campaign cautiously optimistic.

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However, Bottas has only been given a one-year contract at the Brackley-based outfit and Lauda admits the team will analyse how the two drivers work together.

"As long as I do my job so that my performance on track is at the level the auto should be, we're all good", he added. I just fear the way testing is operated, as a team owner, I could do virtually anything. He's a three-time world champion, he's a great reference and everyone knows how good he is as a driver.

"So I think going against Lewis I am pretty excited about that". We know he's talented, Finnish and capable of answering questions in a nice, polite way but it would be great if we had friction between him and Lewis, ' said Coulthard. If we do our work perfectly, if I do my job perfectly, it's possible [to challenge for the title]. "I see no reason why it should not continue like that", he added.

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But the final result didn't reflect what happened on the pitch", Koeman said. He's with Everton , a club who believe they are on the up.