Mercedes: Hamilton and Bottas free to race

Valtteri Bottas' lack of race wins in Formula One will not see him play second fiddle to Lewis Hamilton in 2017, says Mercedes' Toto Wolff.

Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff and Valtteri Bottas pose at launch of new Mercedes F1 car   -  Getty Images

Mercedes will allow Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to race each other cleanly in 2017, team boss Toto Wolff has confirmed.

The constructors' champions' 'rules of engagement' were a key talking point of the previous season, after Hamilton and world champion Nico Rosberg took each other out of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Rosberg would ultimately get the better of Hamilton and win his maiden championship before shockingly retiring a week later.

That decision brings Bottas to the Silver Arrows. The Finn is yet to win a grand prix, having spent the past four seasons at Williams.

Bottas will not be forced to play second fiddle to three-time champion Hamilton, Wolff confirmed at the unveiling of Mercedes' 2017 car at Silverstone.

"This is motorsport," Wolff told reporters. "It is something we want to continue to do and develop for the benefit of the team and spectators.

"The basic concept will stay. We're going to call it differently and trim it a little bit, but not make it a complex regulation.

"We have to see how the season starts anyway, it might be completely different in terms of dynamics with drivers and other teams. But the concept stays, yes."

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