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Valtteri Bottas has echoed the sentiments of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by pointing to Ferrari and Red Bull being in much closer contention for the F1 world title scrap than last year.

The new Mercedes driver, who will enjoy his final pre-season testing session in the W08 before handing over to Hamilton for the afternoon on the final day, has warned of the threat of Ferrari and Red Bull having been impressed by their testing pace and isn't says Mercedes cannot relax at any point this year.

As a result, Bottas has urged Mercedes to be non-stop with its development charge as it looks to secure a fourth consecutive F1 world title this season despite the new regulation changes.

"We are definitely not confident that we are in the front. We are not relaxing or being in a comfortable situation at all," Bottas said. "I think we do feel the other teams have made good progress over the winter.

"I think Ferrari is looking very strong, Red Bull can always surprise. Even some other teams can be close but definitely some other teams like Ferrari, they are looking very solid and strong and fast.

"Who knows what people are bringing to Melbourne. We are aware that we should not underestimate them. We're not at this point saying 'OK, we are the number one', we are just working flat-out."

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