To keep his job Bottas’ management begin to play him up

Bottas and Hakkinen
Bottas and Hakkinen

In an effort make his client look good due to threats Sebastian Vettel could take his seat at Mercedes, Mika Hakkinen says there is an “extremely high expectation" that his client Valtteri Bottas will win the Formula 1 World Championship this year.

Hakkinen, who is part of his fellow Finn’s management team, claims that Bottas is a strong chance of going one better in 2020.

“Valtteri has a great position in Mercedes," the two-time world champion told the F1 Nation podcast.

“He’s a mega, great driver. I’m confident he’s better than ever.

“I have an extremely high expectation for him to be world champion this year.

“That’s what he’s been working very hard for many years – all the qualities, all the tools for him to get there.

“He’s been working very hard."

Asked to comment on where Vettel might end up next year, Hakkinen declared, “If he wants to win, it’s pretty tough out there."

However, he maintains that the 32-year-old still has plenty to offer as an F1 driver, despite a relatively lackluster period with the Scuderia.

“His age is not a problem. He is still a young guy," said Hakkinen.

“He had a big disappointment with Ferrari. The enjoyment of the teamwork disappeared from Vettel, he didn’t enjoy so much anymore inside the team.

“He was criticized enormously all the time and inside a team it has to be shared."