Bottas only needs to beat ‘one driver’ – Hakkinen

Valtteri Bottas and Haikkonen
Valtteri Bottas and Hakkinen

(GMM) Valtteri Bottas could win the 2020 world championship by beating just "one driver".

That is the view of Mika Hakkinen, the retired double world champion who remains involved in the management of his fellow Finn's career.

"I've seen Valtteri's development and passionate dedication to the work," the 51-year-old told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.

"He is constantly improving as a driver so I think he has a really good chance of winning the championship."

Hakkinen thinks his 30-year-old countryman will probably only have a single rival standing in the way of his title triumph in 2020 – "teammate" Lewis Hamilton.

"In the winter tests, Valtteri was best of all and seemed ready for the season," he said.

"If Mercedes stays at the same pace and development continues, then only one driver – a teammate – can beat him."

Finally, Hakkinen was asked about the differences between modern Formula 1 and his own era at the end of the 90s.

One difference is the proliferation of 'pay drivers', but Hakkinen says this phenomenon is actually not new.

"The driver always has to bring something to the stable. You can't go there empty handed even if yes, today you need more," he said.

As for the other obvious differences for the field of 2020, Hakkinen added: "Generations are changing, the world is different. Of course there are still personalities, but you see them differently to before.

"The world is changing and generations have different tools at their disposal."

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