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Who can challenge Lewis Hamilton in 2017?

Lewis Hamilton will go into the new Formula One season as the favourite to win his fourth world title, but the key question will be which drivers can challenge the Brit.

The 31-year-old narrowly missed out on the title in Abu Dhabi last season as Nico Rosberg sealed his first championship before retiring a few weeks after.

With the new driver regulations set to shake up the grid, F1 fans will be hoping the likes of Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel can light up the circuit and challenge for glory.

Here, we take a look at four drivers set to shine.

VALTTERI BOTTAS

The Finn finally has the chance to showcase his potential in the new Mercedes. With nine podium finishes since 2014, Bottas is still chasing that elusive victory.

Perhaps his best chance could be this year in a faster car and under a different team. But will he sit back and let Hamilton dominate or will he finally step up and have a say in the championship race?

MAX VERSTAPPEN

The weight of expectation continues to grow as Verstappen steps out for his second season at Red Bull. A stellar 2016 has many believing the Dutchman can seriously test Hamilton this year.

His drive at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November was hailed as one of the best ever, and at 19, he has the potential to be a future world champion. While some drivers sit back, Verstappen’s biggest strength is his willingness to take risks to score big results.

DANIEL RICCIARDO

The Australian finished third in the drivers championships last season and will be bidding to continue his consistent form, especially with an ambitious Verstappen breathing down his neck.

The 27-year-old is highly regarded by his fellow drivers, with Fernando Alonso even labelling him as the best driver in F1.


SEBASTIAN VETTEL

The four-time world champion looked impressive during testing in Barcelona but can he turn around a disappointing 2016 or will it be the same old reliability problems for Ferrari?

If form is anything to go by, there is a genuine feeling that Vettel can finally be a threat to Mercedes.


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