Valtteri Bottas warns Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 'don't have a No2 driver'

Formula 1 Sebastian Vettel Not Paying Heed to Hype Surrounding Ferrari

Bottas has moved to the all-conquering team to fill the vacancy left by Nico Rosberg, who made the shock decision to retire after winning his maiden Formula One driver's championship previous year.

"Bottas will be strong but can he really take the fight [to Hamilton]?" said Jordan.

"I will do my best that is possible but we haven't done a single race of the season so it's hard to see where we are ranking. I've never seen fans so excited about a season as they are this season, being that it is we don't know where the cars and the teams are".

"I think the first time I was in the new vehicle, as expected you could definitely see I was getting used to everything", he told reporters at an ice hockey media event in Melbourne. I think for sure it's a big challenge there's no doubt. They want to see that close racing and that sheer competitiveness and see the ups and downs of the best doing their best.

Bottas is confident in the work the team has put into adjusting to the changes, but admits there is a large element of the unknown heading into the first grand prix of the season.

LEWIS HAMILTON begins his chase for a fourth world title on Sunday insisting: "I feel like a gladiator".

"It's interesting to see, Sebastian is usually a lot more hype", Hamilton said, eliciting a half-smile from the German sitting a metre away from him at the media conference.

"The only (reason) I do this is to win", Bottas said.

And Hamilton wants more frequent rule changes to keep the sport exciting.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel won four consecutive season titles from 2010-13 while he was racing for Red Bull, so he knows what it's like to be in Hamilton's position.

In 2010, Williams made him their F1 test driver, and for the 2013 season he became the second Finn after Keke Rosberg to race for Williams.

They are eyeing a major comeback and if pre-season testing is anything to go by, the signs look good for F1's most successful team.

"It's very clear who is the favourite. we're obviously trying our best to catch up".

"Ferrari are the quickest at the moment, they're definitely the favourites", said Hamilton ahead of this weekend's season-opening Australian GP. They have a respectful and friendly relationship from what we've seen in our team briefings so far.

"But we need this guy to have a good auto so that he can get up there and fight with us", acknowledged Hamilton. The former World Champion team seems to have gone backwards with Honda's new engine design and might be the team that brings up the rear in 2017.