Valtteri Bottas believes he is under less pressure heading into his second Formula 1 season with Mercedes than in his debut campaign with the team last year, but acknowledges more may be expected of him through 2018.

Bottas joined Mercedes as a last-minute replacement for 2017 following world champion Nico Rosberg's shock retirement, and enjoyed a solid first season with the German marque as he finished third in the F1 drivers' championship with three wins to his name.

Asked if Mercedes' expectations had increased for his second season at the team, Bottas said: "Yeah for sure. I think now not being the rookie in this team, for sure the team is expecting more from me. So am I.

"I'm aiming for a better season than last year and for sure the team is hoping for me performing better also this season, that's for sure."

Bottas is out of contract at the end of the season, and drivers such as Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon have already been linked with his seat, but the Finn feels under less pressure now than when he started with the team.

"I think last year going into the season, there was more pressure than now," Bottas said.

"Still I have all the targets ahead of me and I'm still hungry for all the wins and success.

"So definitely less pressure than last year."


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