Valtteri Bottas’ mentor and two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen has reacted to speculation about his protege’s future by saying that it is the duty of his management to give him the means to be Formula 1 world champion.
Over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, Bottas denied rumors of a pre-contract agreement with Ferrari that would see him join the team in the next two years.
This was backed up by Bottas’ manager, Didier Coton, who confirmed that the Williams driver was without any contract for 2016, leaving his options open.
Speaking to Hermes, Hakkinen did not add much to Coton’s dismissive comments about the reports linking Bottas to Ferrari, but said that the management team was responsible for giving the Finn the means to be world champion.
“Didier Coton has already given an answer in Barcelona,” Hakkinen said. “I do not want to say any more, too.
“Valtteri’s job is everything that has to do with his work as a racer to succeed.
“The managers shall be responsible for the things off the track so that Valtteri one day has the chance to become world champion.”
Ferrari is currently enjoying a revival at the front of the field, winning its first race in almost two years in Malaysia six weeks ago through Sebastian Vettel.
Although Kimi Raikkonen has made an improved start to the season after a difficult 2014, the Finn’s future at Ferrari is still undecided, but the team is known to have an option on his services for next year.
Bottas was one of the breakout drivers of the 2014 F1 season, finishing fourth in the championship for Williams. The Finn has made an impressive start to the 2015 campaign, splitting the quick Ferraris in the last two races.
With his stock continuing to rise, Bottas is likely to be the main topic of conversation when F1’s ‘silly season’ driver market rumours really ramp up over the summer.