NEW TEAM MATES: Valtteri Bottas (right) will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in 2017. Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic
London - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on Monday rowed back on comments that had been interpreted as prickly opening salvos to his 2017 campaign.
Valtteri Bottas says the triple world champion has briefly welomed him to Mercedes, but among Hamilton's first public comments on the subject was to question whether it's "fair" that his teammates get access to his telemetry.
'Zero problems in my team'
"I wish to clarify," the Briton told his Twitter followers, "I have not hit out at my team at all. My point on data sharing is solely my feelings about the sport in general.
Hamilton insisted: "It has been my feeling since the day I started Formula 1 and still is 10 years later. There is zero problems in my team, zero problems with Bottas."
At the same time, Mercedes confirmed recent speculation that team bosses and shareholders Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda have extended their contracts through 2020.
And the German outfit also hailed the novel look of Sauber's newly revealed blue, white and gold 2017 car, with its livery celebrating the Swiss team's 25th F1 anniversary.
"Check out that new look!" Mercedes said on Twitter.