Valtteri Bottas will give Lewis Hamilton a run for his money this year.

The new Mercedes signing promises to do his talking on the track. He is not fazed when asked about his chances against three-time champ Hamilton and remains cool, calm and quietly confident at the W08 launch.

“It’s up to me to perform,” he says. “The team is expecting me to perform, to be on the level of the car and to be able to fight with Lewis. And that is my thought also.”

It’s easy for a driver to talk the talk, only to falter at the opening round. But Bottas has such a relaxed demeanour – typical of many Finnish racers – that it’s clear he truly believes in his own ability, even when it’s about to face one of the sport’s biggest stars.

“It’s not an advantage to have started [with a new team] so late,” he admits, “but I trust my talent.”