Nico Rosberg says he is ready for the challenge of teaming up with Lewis Hamilton for the 2013 F1 season after the announcement that the pair will be partners at Mercedes next year.
Hamilton will join the team as a replacement for Michael Schumacher, with suggestions that the Briton would be given number one status with his new employers.
Mercedes boss Ross Brawn moved quickly to play down that speculation and Rosberg himself has now revealed that he has it written into his contract that he is on equal terms with his team-mate.
The German also insisted he was ready to take on the challenge of partnering Hamilton in the coming seasons as Mercedes seeks to launch a championship challenge.
“I know the situation,” he told Bild
. “For three years I had Michael, one of the fastest in the world, with me. I have always been comfortable with that.
"Lewis coming here is a challenge and I gladly accept. Lewis is one of the best drivers at the moment but I believe I can measure up. I have it written in my contract that I will always have the same opportunities as my team-mate - no matter who that is."
Rosberg was speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend at Suzuka, where he will aim to build on the fifth place finish he enjoyed in Singapore.
That marked the first top six finish for the German since the Europen Grand Prix in late June, with Rosberg eager to build on the result when he hits the track in Japan.
“The last race in Singapore was my best result for a little while and I hope this is the start of an upward trend for me and the team. So I'm looking forward to getting to Japan this week and getting on with the work to get the most out of our new aerodynamic package and upgrades.
“Suzuka is a very exciting track which is popular with every driver for the interesting corner combinations and unique layout. I also look forward to meeting the Japanese fans again who have such a great passion for the sport and their support is always so enthusiastic.”