Mercedes confident there will be no driver fall-out in 2017

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Mercedes chiefs Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda are confident there will be no damaging fall-out between their drivers this year.

Previous seasons had become dominated by an increasingly fractious relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. With Rosberg now retired, the team doesn't believe there will be a repeat clash between Hamilton and new team mate Valtteri Bottas.

"They get on well," Lauda told France's L'Equipe this week. He added that he didn't expect that to change following Bottas' maiden Grand Prix win in Sochi.

"I don't see any problem with Bottas winning the race," the Mercedes team chairman insisted. "They respect each other, which is the most important.

"Valtteri is discrete, he doesn't talk too much, they're both professional."

Lauda's confidence was echoed by team principal Toto Wolff.

"The relationship between the two of them is very much intact," Wolff said.

"Lewis was one of the first to congratulate Valtteri on his first race victory. That shows the respect they have towards each other.

"Nevertheless both are fierce competitors and want to win races and fight for the championship," Wolff admitted.

"But I don't think it will affect the team dynamic like it did with Nico," he concluded. "That was a completely different relationship."

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