Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Valtteri Bottas, Formula One 2017, F1 news
Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff and Valtteri Bottas.Reuters

The start of Formula One 2017 season is just a few days away with the first race, the Australian Grand Prix kick, taking shape on Sunday. The drivers have completed their pre-season testing, and are looking forward in competing this season, which has gone undergone some changes, the biggest of them being the F1 takeover by Liberty Media.

Read: Hamilton may retire if this happens 

Talking about changes, defending champions in the constructors' championship, Mercedes, will have a new driver in the grid for 2017. Former Williams driver Valtteri Bottas will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, who were forced to bring a new driver with Nico Rosberg calling it quits after winning his maiden F1 title last season.

In 2016, the two drivers, Hamilton and Rosberg, who were both involved in a tough head-to-head battle for the world championship, and as a result did not enjoy the greatest of relationships.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is pleased with the chemistry that he has witnessed between Hamilton and new driver Bottas as he knows the team cannot afford another cold relation between their drivers.

"We have new management looking at how we take the sport forward. And, in our team, we have seen some significant changes of personnel over the winter. It's been a busy few months, no doubt. But an extremely exciting time, too," Formula One's official website quoted Wolff as saying.

"Lewis [Hamilton]and Valtteri [Bottas] are in a great place. They have a respectful and friendly relationship from what we've seen in our team briefings so far. It's an exciting time for them because these new cars are a real physical challenge."

From what we have seen so far in the pre-season testing, this season could be much more competitive. Ferrari have already made the right noises. Besides Ferrari, Red Bull, who have two quality drivers in the form of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, will be another serious competitors in the F1 2017 season.

"We take every one of our rivals seriously and respect every team's ability to find that magic bullet. They are all full of very clever people - the best in the world in their fields. We have done the best job we possibly could over the winter and, if we are not the fastest in Melbourne, then it's about finding out why and what needs to be done to get us back to that top spot. It's a challenge we will take on with great motivation and energy," Wolff added.

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