• Mika Hakkinen believes Bottas wil win 2020 championship
• Bottas has ambition to win drivers championship
• Bottas out of contract come end of the year
Two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen is pinning his hopes on fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas to win the 2020 Formula 1 drivers championship.
The Finn goes into his fourth season at Mercedes with confidence after mounting his best challenge yet to stop team mate Lewis Hamilton’s dominance in 2019.
In the end, Hamilton comfortably won a sixth title, but Bottas has spoken regularly of his desire and belief in himself to claim the World Championship for himself.
It's a big year for Mercedes, team boss Toto Wolff is being linked with a departure, while both Hamilton and Bottas are out of contract at the end of 2020.
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Valtteri Bottas. Image: TeamTalk
'A mega-great driver'
But Hakkinen has an "extremely high expectation" that it will be Bottas' year and backs him to win the title.
He told the F1 Nation podcast: "Valtteri has a great position in Mercedes. He's a mega-great driver. I am confident that he is better than ever, so I have an extremely high expectation for him to be world champion this year. That's what we've been working very hard on for years, [gathering] all the qualities, all the tools for him to get there."
Silly season has come early in 2020 with Bottas' Mercedes seat reportedly being eyed up by Sebastian Vettel, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the year, as well as Mercedes prospect, George Russell.
Bottas has then been linked with the Renault seat to be vacated by Daniel Ricciardo.