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Hakkinen has "no doubt" about Bottas' quality

07-12-2018 10:43 | Updated: 07-12-2018 10:44
by Bobby Vincent
General
Hakkinen has no doubt about Bottas' quality

Former F1 driver Mika Hakkinen has backed the under-pressure Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas to take the necessary steps in order to be successful on a personal note with the Silver Arrows next season.

Bottas suffered a winless run in the 2019 season; after coming very close in multiple races - such as Sochi, when Bottas was ordered to hand position to his team-mate and now world champion, Lewis Hamilton.

The pressure is now well and truly on the Finn, with Esteban Ocon now Mercedes' reserve driver and eyeing Bottas' seat for 2020.

However, his fellow Finn, Hakkinen, thinks people should give Bottas more support and has reflected on his own personal experiences to try and relate to the Mercedes driver.

"Victory in Azerbaijan was taken away from him by a puncture, and for much of the season he had to support Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes team came under pressure from Ferrari," Hakkinen said on his Unibet column.

"Of course, Valtteri wanted to be winning, but one thing you learn quickly in Formula 1 is that the road to the top is not always straight. I remember when I was racing against my team-mates and great names such as Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell.

"I was not yet winning, but I learned a lot from watching them, working hard in the team and improving step-by-step. It's all about constantly improving, one day being quicker than your team-mate, sometimes slower."

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