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MARCH 23, 2017

Bottas unlikely to beat Hamilton says Symonds

It is "a lot to ask" if Valtteri Bottas' fans are expecting the Finn to beat Lewis Hamilton in 2017.

That is the news from Pat Symonds, the now-retired technical boss who knows Bottas well after working with him at Williams for the past few years.

Bottas has now moved to Mercedes to replace the suddenly-retired Nico Rosberg, but Symonds would be surprised if he can instantly starting beating Hamilton.

"I think it's difficult to say how Valtteri will go," he is quoted by Turun Sanomat newspaper.

"Valtteri is a very talented driver. It's good that he is already familiar with the power unit, because that is particularly important these days.

"But it must be said that Lewis is a class act and with him so comfortable in the team, I suspect that it is a lot to ask for Valtteri to beat him, as it would be for anyone," Symonds added.

But what will stand Bottas in good stead, Symonds said, is his work ethic.

"That's for sure," said the Briton. "Valtteri's work ethic is fantastic.

"With Williams, he was at the factory whenever we needed him, and he did everything for the benefit of the team. Sure, he had his off weekends, although not many, but there were some. But he is calm, quiet and has a truly Nordic-style.

"But in 2015 we saw that Valtteri was emotionally affected when Ferrari made contact. His concentration was affected. So if he has trouble with Lewis, that could happen again," added Symonds.