Claims by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony that the triple world champion is a "career killer" for his teammates was widely interpreted as the first mind game fired at Finn Bottas.
On a one-year contract, Bottas has been signed up by Mercedes to replace the now-retired Nico Rosberg, who shared a famously strained relationship with Hamilton dating back to 2013.
When asked about the "career killer" jibe by Finnish broadcaster MTV, Bottas commented: "Well, I wouldn't want to be my teammate, either.
"Let's wait and see. The season starts soon so we'll see how it goes."
The 27-year-old ended 2016 in eighth place in the driver rankings for Williams.