Retired Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg has warned Valtteri Bottas about Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg shocked the sport when he announced his retirement just five days after clinching the 2016 world championship.

His replacement, Bottas, was signed on a one-year contract to fill the seat left by the German at Mercedes.

Bottas in action for Williams last season
Bottas in action for Williams last season. Photo: Wikimedia

Hamilton and Rosberg had a fractious relationship during their time together at the Silver Arrows and Rosberg had one bit of advice for Bottas.

Asked what he would say to Mercedes’ new driver, Rosberg said: “I would tell him, ‘Don’t expect an easy ride,’ that’s for sure.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Laureus Awards in Monaco, the 31-year-old said it would be a challenge for Bottas coming into a new team. “Lewis has been there for so many years.

“Valtteri is very talented, so he can achieve things.

“He’s asked me if we can have a chat soon, and I’m happy to do that of course, but I will stay very neutral, so no giving away any Lewis secrets.”

Lewis Hamilton in the wet
Lewis Hamilton in the wet. Photo: Wikimedia 

Rosberg, who will act as an ambassador for Mercedes, also gave his view on who could replace the Finn after his one-year deal ends.

Rosberg with his World Championship
Rosberg with his World Championship. Photo: Wikimedia 

He said: “It would definitely make sense for Sebastian (Vettel) to have a look at that Mercedes seat for 2018 and for Mercedes to have a look at him.

“He’s one of the best drivers out there and he doesn’t have a contract for 2018, so they should explore the possibility. It could be a good fit.

“(Fernando) Alonso is not the youngest any more but he’s still driving at his best, so he should be considered as well and I’m sure they will.”