Valtteri Bottas: 'Lewis Hamilton welcomed me to team'

Bottas: 'Hamilton welcomed me to team'
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Valtteri Bottas says that Lewis Hamilton has welcomed him to Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas has said that Lewis Hamilton has welcomed him to title-winning Mercedes.

As the Finn signed up with the team for 2017, Hamilton's father Anthony warned that his son is a "career killer".

However, Bottas told Finnish news agency Suomen Tietotoimisto: "I'm really happy to have Lewis as my teammate.

"It's a great chance for me to show my abilities. I've always wanted as quick a teammate as possible, and I really have one," he added.

Bottas, 27, said that he bumped into triple world champion Hamilton at the team's Brackley headquarters this week.

"We each had our own meetings and it was a quick greeting," he revealed. "He welcomed me to the team and congratulated me."

Bottas also played down reports about his Mercedes contract being only for one year, with Nico Rosberg already recommending Sebastian Vettel for the 2018 seat.

"I fully understand that it's not a longer agreement at this stage," Bottas insisted. "Of course the team wants to see how I go. It's ok for me.

"That's the way it goes - I've always had to earn my place but it seems that I know how to drive."

The season gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix on March 26.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams in the paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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