Lauda: All is well with Hamilton and Bottas - for now

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Niki Lauda says he has been impressed with how Mercedes’ new recruit  Valtteri Bottas has settled in so far with the German squad.

The team’s non-executive chairman believes the Finn is still behind Lewis Hamilton in terms of outright speed but his faculty of adaptation has pleased the F1 legend.

My first impression is very good,” Lauda told Austrian broadcaster ORF.

“He is a Finn so he doesn’t talk much, but he works hard to get used to the team. I’m impressed how quickly he could get used to the car.”

The relationship between Bottas and his triple world champion team mate is also off to a good start but that could change warns Lauda if the performance gap between the two men closes.

“Now, at the beginning, everything is simple,” said Lauda.

“Lewis has everything in his hands and Bottas is getting used to the team.

“Now we wait for the first races to see how they get along, what the gaps are and how everything develops.

“We don’t know this yet,” he admitted.

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IN PICS: Top 10 ugliest F1 cars

Sport360 staff 15/03/2017

The reception to Force India's new pink car for the 2017 season was amusing if nothing else.

Few took to the new look with enthusiasm but at least saw the funny side of it.

Fans, rival teams and drivers had quiet a laugh of social media with even Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez getting involved.

The F1 team's new partnership with water technology specialists BWT has prompted the change in look. Perez and Ocon will race in pink, magenta and silver VJM10s this season but can seek comfort in the fact that many drivers before them have had to pilot similarly unattractive vehicles. What do you think of our gallery above of the ugliest F1 cars? Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

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Force India unveil new pink design

F1i 15/03/2017
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The new car design.

The team will be sporting a pink, magenta and silver design after agreeing a long-term partnership with BWT, Europe’s leading water technology specialists.

It’s BWT’s first involvement in Formula 1. The brand is seeking to take advantage of the sport’s global presence to promote its unique water treatment products.

BWT’s presence is also reinforced with new pink helmets to be worn by drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

“The arrival of BWT in Formula 1 is huge news,” said Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India’s principal and managing director. “It represents one of the most significant partnerships in our ten year history.”

“It’s a sign of how far we have come as a team with our strong results and completes a solid commercial performance over the winter.

“For 2017 our cars will sport a vibrant new colour scheme with a smart matte finish.

“Changing the colour of our cars is an indication of the strength of this new partnership. It’s a real statement of intent from BWT as they begin their relationship with the sport.”

“The collaboration with Sahara Force India is an important part of our brand-globalisation strategy,” added BWT CEO Andreas Weissenbacher. “It will dynamically increase awareness of our brand around the world.

“We share with Formula 1, the premier league of motor sport, the passion we show every day in trying to achieve the best possible standards.”

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