Cape Town - Nico Rosberg has backed Valtteri Bottas to use the upcoming season to "establishing himself in a much stronger position" and also be "annoying" to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Bottas has been firmly in Hamilton's shadow since joining the Silver Arrows ahead of the 2017 season, but his predecessor believes the Finn can give the five-time World Champion something to worry about.
"Valtteri is a lot better than he's been able to show recently," Rosberg told Sky Sports News.
"With a new season starting again he has a good chance of establishing himself in a much stronger position and even really (be) annoying Lewis quite a lot.
"I think that's possible. It always depends how the season starts.
"Last year he had a lot of bad luck as well. If the luck is on his side and he starts well, it could be a whole different situation."
In 2019, Rosberg's former team are bidding for sixth consecutive World Championship double and, while he is not overly eager to see a new winner emerge, he does want to see a prolonged battle for the respective silverware.
"It's been an amazing run but it's not necessarily time for change, it's time for renewed battles up front, and then may the best team win," he added.
"Mercedes has been the best recently. We want it to go down to the wire, we want to see real action."