Wurz sees driver rivalries heating up at Mercedes and Ferrari

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Ex-F1 driver and GPDA chairman Alex Wurz says intra-team rivalries at Mercedes and Ferrari will likely upset the good relationship currently enjoyed by the drivers at both teams.

Mercedes has reigned supreme this year so far but contrary to last season, Valtteri Bottas is giving team mate Lewis Hamilton more than just a run for his money.

The Brit has said that the pair's competitive but harmonious relationship likely won't fall apart and become contentious as the rapport Hamilton endured in the past with nemesis Nico Rosberg.

However, Wurz has noticed a few signs at Mercedes that indicate a possible change of tone in the future between the Silver Arrows drivers.

Hamilton recently stated that Bottas was mimicking his set-ups now that the Finn was working with his former race engineer Riccardo Musconi.

The Brit also claimed that he had been "too friendly" with his team mate in baku when the two went wheel-to-wheel into the first corner at the start.

Wurz believes Bottas can now hold his own at Mercedes, but the rivalry will only get more intense going forward.

"He can and should fight for the world championship, he has the capacity," Wurz told Speed Week.

"Last year he had some technical bad luck and wasn't yet settled in the team. He set himself up well during the winter and now drives with confidence after the two victories in Melbourne and Baku.

"One already notices the first little jabs [from Hamilton]. The more Bottas gets into action, the more Hamilton will react."

Over at Ferrari, Wurz sees equally challenging times ahead for Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc and the prospect of a psychological battle between the Scuderia's chargers "that will be influenced from the outside, especially by the media"

"It will be fascinating to see what happens there," said Wurz.

"He [Leclerc] made the most of a learning year at Sauber and coped well with the leap to a top team.

"But he has to deliver top results now, so he has a lot of pressure."

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