NEW DEAL IN F1: Valtteri Bottas will earn substantially more by driving for the Mercedes team. Image: AP / Olivier Matthys
London - Valtteri Bottas has played down reports that he is already a big financial winner in 2017.
A report has emerged claiming the Finn's annual earnings are leaping from €3-million with Williams to a cool €8-million (R41.5-million, est.) for 2017 after signing with Mercedes.
Not public information
The Finnish media says the 27-year-old now earns more than his countryman Kimi Raikkonen, but Bottas insisted: "I don't know where those numbers come from and I don't like talking about it. It's not public information though.
Bottas told the Finnish news agency Suomen Tietotoimisto: "It is just the usual speculation.”
READ: Hamilton's father takes wary of Bottas' F1 career
He also played down reports that Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda has given Bottas only four races to get up to speed in 2017 as an effective replacement for the retired Nico Rosberg.
Botta insisted: "I have not been told of any schedule. Of course, the team expects good results from me, and I have to deliver."
Mercedes has signed just a one-year contract with Bottas, with Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony Hamilton warning that his son is a "career killer".
READ: Bottas' 1-year Mercedes deal explained
Bottas responded: "Many people think this is a risk for my career, but I see it exactly the other way around. For me it's just a ridiculously good opportunity. It is the first time I have got the chance to prove what I can do. "Nico has already showed that it is possible to beat Lewis. Of course he (Hamilton) is a triple world champion and I haven't won any races, but I don't see any reason why we can't be evenly matched."