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Hamilton engineer joins Bottas' team for 2019

Hamilton engineer joins Bottas' team for 2019

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Hamilton engineer joins Bottas' team for 2019

Hamilton engineer joins Bottas' team for 2019

Valtteri Bottas has a new race engineer for 2019, with Riccardo Musconi having switched from Lewis Hamilton's side of the garage in order to assist the Finn. Bottas will hope the change can help spark a turnaround in his fortunes after going through 2018 without a win.

Pressure is on Bottas this year, with Esteban Ocon waiting in the wings as Mercedes' third driver and Ferrari looking to have stolen a march in the early going of the year.

However, the Finn insists it will be business as usual.

"My preparation has not really changed," he told Bild.

"What is new is that I have a new race engineer. Tony Ross has gone to Mercedes' Formula E project and now I have Riccardo Musconi, who was a performance engineer on Lewis Hamilton's car."

Bottas is well aware that the start of the 2019 season is crucial for him.

"Very important," said the 29-year-old.

"The first half of the season until the summer break is the key to a good year. We saw it in 2018. When I was so far behind Lewis in the points, the team focused on him to get the drivers' championship.

"So I have to score right from the start this year."

Also putting pressure on Bottas is Ocon, Mercedes' reserve driver who is determined to return to the grid in 2020.

Bottas said when asked about Ocon: "I do not put any more pressure on myself than in previous years.

"It remains true that if I deliver, the team will be satisfied. If not, I do not deserve this place at Mercedes.

"I will give everything and see where I am."

When asked if he will be satisfied with second place behind Hamilton in 2019, Bottas answered: "Definitely not.

"I want to be world champion and I am ready to do anything for that.

"Lewis is just a human being at the end of the day, even if he is extremely talented. But there were race weekends where I have been faster than him."

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