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Hakkinen tips Bottas for championship success in 2020

  • Published on 01 Jun 2020 10:17
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mika Hakkinen believes Valtteri Bottas has what it takes to bring the challenge to teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2020 and become a world champion.

Since joining Mercedes in 2017, the Finn has watched teammate Hamilton achieve championship success each year, while he himself has bagged seven grand prix wins.

In 2019, Bottas ended the season second in the drivers' championship - a career-high for the 30-year-old, who made his F1 debut in 2013 with Williams.


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But Hakkinen, who is part of Bottas' management team, has predicted that his compatriot will be stronger than ever this year and win the world championship. 

“Valtteri has a great position in Mercedes,” said Hakkinen, speaking on the F1 Nation podcast. “He’s a mega great driver, and I am confident that he’s better than ever.

“I have an extremely high expectation for him to be world champion this year – and that’s what we’ve been working very hard on for years, [giving him] all the qualities, all the tools for him to get there. He’s been working hard.”

Nothing needs to change at McLaren - Hakkinen

Hakkinen also provided his thoughts on his former team McLaren, who provided Hakkinen with two world drivers' titles in the late 90s.

After a handful of difficult seasons, the Woking-based squad achieved its first podium results since 2014 last year, and consistently competed at the front of the midfield to secure fourth place in the constructors' championship.


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Hakkinen affirms that the team is in a good place and is on a path back to success, adding that nothing currently needs to be changed from within.

“Well since Zak Brown took charge, not so long after that I joined back to the McLaren family [as an ambassador] and I felt they had a huge motivation kick, from everyone inside the team, to move forward in every sector,” Hakkinen said.

“I don't feel anything needs to be changed. I think how they're doing it [now], they're doing a brilliant job.”

Replies (5)

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  • JuJuHound

    Posts: 352

    Oh come on Mika, if you were, for example, a Norwegian, you would say something different

    • + 0
    • Jun 1 2020 - 12:51
    • It depends. I'd say that while I'm not big on Bottas anymore, and while we Scands love bashing each other very often, we do tend to support each other in cases like these. So if Mika was Norweigan, chances are he'd still be catiously optimistic. But Bottas need to follow Rosberg's example and "be a dragon", and I don't see him doing that.

      • + 0
      • Jun 1 2020 - 22:08
    • I'd love to see Bottas giving Lewis a run for his money... but I really don't see it. Both because Lewis is brilliant and driving better than ever, but also because Bottas hasn't really shown much promise. His trajectory (vs Lewis) is erratic. No clear indication of progress

      • + 0
      • Jun 2 2020 - 02:04
  • Norbert

    Posts: 108

    So if Valtteri comes prepared like last year and drives his best maybe he will be lucky enough to start a race dead last at the back of the grid? Wow.

    Only the best can spin the tyres off the start, take a weaving wide line, brake early, exit the corner a gear high, and then short shift before the power band. It’s going to be tough competition sandbagging well enough to start on pole.

    • + 0
    • Jun 2 2020 - 12:41
  • It is a shame he finds himself having to look at other teams - might be his best chance ever to beat Hamilton this shorter season, he has to start very very well in order to achieve this feat. Im not seeing it.

    • + 0
    • Jun 2 2020 - 15:10

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  • Team Mercedes
  • Points 1,354
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  • Country FI
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (31)
  • Place of b. Nastola, FI
  • Weight 70 kg
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