Jan.4 (GMM) Former F1 driver Roberto Merhi has tipped a tough forthcoming season for Lewis Hamilton's new teammate.
It is believed Valtteri Bottas has secured the seat following world champion Nico Rosberg's shock retirement, and former Manor driver Merhi said he would be delighted to get an opportunity like that.
"Of course," he told Spain's sports daily AS. "Among other reasons, because the only thing you would need to do to win the title would be to beat Hamilton.
"It's as if you tell me there's a place at McLaren and all I have to do is beat Alonso! I'd be delighted to be there, but beating those guys would be another story," Merhi added.
So the 25-year-old, who went on to race sports cars after F1, said the task for Hamilton's new teammate will be more than difficult.
"Anyone at Mercedes just has to beat Hamilton and that's almost impossible," said Merhi.
"Rosberg did it on his third try so he needed time to make everything perfect and more reliable. (Jenson) Button beat Hamilton in a very bad year for Lewis, but I think of the current grid only Alonso could beat him.
"Nico did it, and I'm not saying it was by chance but it's true that he had things in his favour," Merhi added.