15:54 – Lewis Hamilton says he expects Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to provide a sterner challenge in 2018, after pulling clear in their battle through 2017.

Bottas replaced retired Nico Rosberg in Mercedes’ line-up for 2017 and claimed victories in Russia and Austria to remain in the title hunt, trailing Hamilton by just 19 points prior to the summer break.

However, Bottas’ form dipped when the sport returned from its mid-season hiatus, taking just two podiums during the six-race spell in which Hamilton claimed five wins, as the Briton surged towards the title.

Hamilton wrapped up the championship, his fourth, in Mexico, but Bottas bounced back qualify as the quickest Mercedes driver across the last two races, and capped his campaign with victory in Abu Dhabi.

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