Valtteri Bottas says having a new race engineer at Mercedes will provide him with a “fresh” start at the team in the 2019 Formula 1 season. 

Riccardo Musconi will be Bottas’ new senior race engineer for the upcoming campaign, replacing Tony Ross, who has switched to Mercedes’ Formula E programme after two years alongside Bottas and 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg before him. 

Having spent a number of years working as a race engineer at the German manufacturer, including on Lewis Hamilton’s side of the garage, Musconi has linked up with Bottas, who will also have a new performance engineer in 2019. 

Valtteri Bottas F1 Driver Profile - Mercedes

“There’s always a little bit of work to start a new driver-engineer relationship and I’ve actually also have a new performance engineer too, so it feels like a bit of a fresh start for the season,” the Finn explained. 

“We’ve only got to know each other better right at the end of last year, but I think it has been pretty good. Sometimes changes can be good, we started from a clean, fresh page. 

“All the meetings we’ve had in December and January, about my performance, what can we do better during the race weekends, my weaknesses, my strengths, it has been quite nice to work with two new people and even in testing it has been enjoyable. 

“Obviously we’re still getting to know each other better and when it will come to setting the car up with limited time during the race weekends, we’ll see how we can do that. But, so far so good.” 

Riccardo Musconi (pictured second in from the left) will become Valtteri Bottas' new senior race engineer in 2019. 

Bottas, who claimed three race wins in his maiden season at Mercedes, is looking to bounce back from a tough 2018 campaign in which he became the first driver since Michael Schumacher in 2012 to fail to record a victory for Mercedes, while Hamilton stormed to the title with 11 wins. 

“For me obviously we start from zero,” Bottas added. "I had a pretty decent start performance-wise to last year and even though looking back there was many things I could have done better. 

“So try to do every single detail better myself and try to be the best version of myself and I have been able to be ahead of Lewis so I know I can do it. 

“It is about consistency, about the right approach to each weekend, and that I make sure for sure I’ve learned all the lessons from last year. In the end it’s not rocket science, it is hard work, about commitment and wanting to get to the goal one way or another.”