Lauda: Regulation changes should help Bottas

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Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has suggested that the new cars arising from major technical regulations changes in 2017 should help Valtteri Bottas as he moves to the team from Williams.

Mercedes picked Bottas to take over the seat vacated by reigning world champion Nico Rosberg who announced his retirement from Formula One just five days after clinching the title.

Bottas now faces the daunting prospect of facing off against his new team mate Lewis Hamilton, but Lauda is confident that Bottas will make the most of the opportunity.

"He does not have much time to settle in, everything is new for him and us," Lauda admitted to German publication Auto Motor und Sport.

"But he has two advantages: he comes into a top team and that will make it easier to get everything right from the beginning.

"We will also drive with completely new cars this year. This is also new for Lewis, so Lewis can't build [upon] his own car because he doesn't know the [new 2017 specification] car.

"Both drivers can develop the car from the beginning, so that it will suit them both."

Mercedes is set to unveil this year's car, the W08 Hybrid, at Silverstone on February 23 just days before the first of the pre-season tests which will be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

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