Mercedes' new F1 recruit hopes for Melbourne fairy tale
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
New Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is quietly confident he can challenge for his maiden Formula One win at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Bottas has big shoes to fill this season, the Finn switching from Williams in January to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg.
The 27-year-old's best finish around the Albert Park circuit is a fifth for Williams in 2014, but driving for the dominant Silver Arrows comes with much higher expectations.
"It's a big challenge and I'll definitely need to prove myself to a lot of people and my team that I deserve the place," Bottas said on Tuesday.
"But I see it very positively. It's a great opportunity for my career to fight for the wins and even for the championship.
"(A win) would be the perfect way to start the season and my career with Mercedes.
"But I'm not thinking about it too much. Obviously it's the only thing I want, but I just want to focus on my job and work as a team.
"If we do our work perfectly and I do my job perfectly it's possible."
Rosberg famously endured a tempestuous relationship with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
But Bottas has nothing but nice things to say about his early experiences working with the British three-time world champion.
"So far it's been very good ... I think in testing we managed to work well as a team," he said.
"There was a good team spirit the whole time and I see no reason why it shouldn't continue like that.
"I think going up against Lewis ...I'm very excited about that. He's a great reference - everyone knows exactly how good he is."
Mercedes dominated last season, winning 19 of 21 races, but the sport has since undergone an extensive overhaul.
In a bid to arrest declining television ratings and attendances, organisers implemented a raft of technical changes designed to make the cars faster and more physically testing for drivers.
Most of the changes centre around wider tyres and bodywork that allows for greater downforce.
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.
"In testing you can always conclude a little bit but you don't know what other teams are bringing to Melbourne in terms of upgrades for the car," he said.
"I think this year (in Melbourne) it's going to be like a development race ... with the new regulations the rate of improvement is going to be massive.
"It's really difficult to predict ... I think it's going to be close."