Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn believes being paired with Michael Schumacher will help Nico Rosberg will develop into a potential champion.
With Schumacher having traditionally taken precedence over his teammates, the issue of driver equality has been much discussed since it was confirmed that the seven-time champion would come out of retirement to join Rosberg in the Mercedes GP lineup. Brawn has been adamant that Rosberg would not be a subservient number two, and revealed that Mercedes wants to build its longer-term future around the younger German.
"We signed Nico first and have tried to sign Nico for several years," Brawn told the official Formula 1 website. "We had strong discussions with him two years ago.
"We see Nico as a great talent who needs finishing and maturing. He has not won a race yet, although he came very close, and I think it is a wonderful partnership between him and Michael. They work well together and I see Michael helping Nico develop his career.
"Michael has come out of retirement but we have to accept that there will come a day when he has to stop forever and then we will have Nico. They must both try the hardest to beat each other but if it is done with the right spirit, with the right approach, then both will gain enormously. I view it as a very exciting partnership and I am glad Nico is part of it."
Brawn insisted that there had never been any intention for Schumacher to become the dominant driver when they worked together at Benetton and Ferrari.
"First of all, I never wanted Michael to dominate. Michael dominated because he was the best," he said. "There was never a structure that enabled him to dominate. He dominated because he was the fastest and most consistent driver. So, we will have to see how the season develops.
"It is not good having one driver dominate a team, because that means the other driver is not performing as he should. I don't want Michael to dominate. I want them both to compete very strongly and both to win races."
But he acknowledged that Mercedes would have no qualms about putting one driver in a supporting role if the points situation required it.
"At the end of the day, we want to win the championship," said Brawn. "Decisions may develop where one driver has to be given extra support for the championship but we won't do that until the situation arises. Until then, it is a completely open competition and I don't want one driver to dominate the other."