Valtteri Bottas is confident that he can beat Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, having seen Nico Rosberg end the Englishman’s two-year championship-winning streak in 2016.
After four impressive seasons at Williams during which he amassed nine podium finishes, Bottas will drive alongside Hamilton at Mercedes in 2017.
While the Finn is rated highly in the paddock, he is yet to be tested in a situation where is fighting for the championship.
Despite his lack of inexperience in race-winning machinery, Bottas is optimistic that he can follow in the footsteps of Rosberg and trump Hamilton, widely regarded as one of the fastest drivers on the grid.
"I feel it is possible," Bottas told Sky Sports "Nico showed beating Lewis is possible.
"But I really respect what he has done with his career. He has so many poles, wins - three titles - and I still don't have a race win. I have a lot to prove."
Mercedes has been the dominant force in F1 for the last three seasons, but a major rule change has the potential to change the pecking order in the sport.
However, shall Mercedes remain as F1’s benchmark in 2017, Bottas says he will put in everything to win drivers’ crown.
"If the car is the strongest, yes [I can fight for the title]," he added. "I'm not here to be in second place or worse. It is definitely a challenge, and going up against Lewis is always going to be a challenge.
"But for me, it's a massive opportunity. Everything is still ahead, so it's going to be an exciting year."
by Rachit Thukral