Two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen has lavished praise upon compatriot Valtteri Bottas, calling the start to his Formula One career “amazing”.
Bottas has failed to score any points so far in 2013, but the Finn has matched his race-winning teammate Pastor Maldonado for pace throughout the year and qualified a stunning P3 for the Canadian Grand Prix. This has impressed Hakkinen greatly, with the former McLaren driver part of the group managing Bottas, and he is confident of securing him a deal to race in F1 next season.
“We are working hard to achieve the best possible situation for Valtteri in many respects. I think his performance this season has been amazing,” Hakkinen told Russian publication Championat. “He is in good hands.”
Williams has recently entered a partnership with GP2 team Russian Time, sparking rumors that a transfer of drivers could be possible. However, with both Bottas and Maldonado thought to be providing large amounts of finance for the team, and with both drivers showing signs of pace, it would be unwise for the team to drop either driver following a disappointing season given the pace of the FW35 car.
Hakkinen himself did not instantly make a huge impact in Formula One, winning his maiden grand prix in 1997 before going on to win the 1998 and 1999 drivers’ championships.