Valtteri Bottas getting under Lewis Hamilton's skin - Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg believs Valtteri Bottas is doing his best to get under Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's skin to ensure he has the upperhand this season.

Rosberg knows Hamilton well and is to date the only team-mate of the five-time world champion to beat him to the title, but it took the German everything he could muster including some mind games, which ultimately led him to retire immediately after doing so, citing the mental strength required to overcome the Briton.

Bottas had a miserable 2018 and very much played a supporting role to Hamilton, but has come back in 2019 with a renewed focus and won the opening race of the season in Melbourne in emphatic fashion.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Rosberg said Bottas was doing a "good job" of getting under Hamilton's skin, which he says could ultimately prove enough to get the advantage he needs.

"Valtteri is really trying to get under Lewis’ skin at the moment. He’s giving it everything, and I think he’s doing a good job," said Rosberg.

"It’s always small steps at a time, and you’ve got to pull Lewis down from his high-flying confidence. He’s doing it, and then you start to see Lewis getting a few doubts and things like that. That’s the way to go for him.

"I think he’s done a very good job over the winter to reset. He's sent a few messages with the beard, over the radio in Melbourne, a rather strong message, the race start, an awesome start. It's all these things that add up!

"It just gives you this momentum and self confidence that you need."