George Russell said he and Lewis Hamilton receive equal treatment at Mercedes and is adamant there will be no team orders should he outqualify the seven-time world champion.
Russell, 23, is in his first season as team-mate to his fellow Englishman.
Hamilton is Formula 1’s most successful driver but Russell is confident his status does not mean he will receive preferential treatment in races.
“We are on a level playing field,” he told the BBC.
“There are no team orders, we have equal treatment totally and they [Mercedes] trust us to go out there and race fairly.”
Russell praised the mutual respect between himself and Hamilton as he looks to follow in the 37-year-old’s footsteps and ultimately win World Championships.
Speaking before this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Russell added: “We have a very open relationship.
“I think because we are at very different stages of our careers there is a really strong mutual respect between us. We both recognise our fight isn’t with each other as it may be in some other teams.
“For us, we both want to win but at the moment we are not in a position to be able to win, so we need to work together and push in the same direction to make sure our car goes faster.”
Ferrari dominated the season-opening race in Bahrain last weekend as they completed a one-two with Charles Leclerc winning ahead of Carlos Sainz.
Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez both retired from the race, with Hamilton finishing third and Russell second.
Russell recognises Mercedes are behind their rivals at the moment but has full faith in the team to soon get them back fighting at the front.
“At the moment we know that if we do absolutely everything perfectly we still don’t have the pace in the car to fight with the Red Bull and Ferrari,” he said.
“We don’t really know what our timeline is. We are working as hard as possible to resolve our issues but the only way we find out if are going to resolve them is when we jump on the track.
“I trust in my team and if anyone can overcome these issues I am sure Mercedes can.”
After it was confirmed they would be team-mates, a picture of an 11-year-old Russell chasing an autograph from a then 24-year-old Hamilton was widely circulated.
Asked what it takes for a young hopeful to one day realise his dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver, Russell said: “You need to do far more, you need to do more than everybody else, [do] what will make you stand out.
“You are fighting for a place in the top 20 in the world and even then, for a superb driver to join Formula 1 a great driver has to leave and there has to be an opening out there for you.”