Hakkinen claims 2020 is Bottas' year: 'I have an extremely high expectation'

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Double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen is tipping Valtteri Bottas to claim the title in 2020.

The Finn is entering his fourth season at Mercedes this year and has been soundly beaten by teammate Lewis Hamilton in the past three, with the 58-point gap between them in 2017 still the smallest margin at the end of a full season.

Hakkinen though believes, in terms of performance, Bottas is the closest he has been to the Briton and thinks he can get the job done this year.

“Valtteri has a great position in Mercedes," the ex-McLaren driver told the F1 Nation podcast.

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"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."

There is speculation this year could be Bottas' last at the German manufacturer, with Sebastian Vettel and George Russell potentially eyeing his seat and rumours linking the seven-time F1 winner to Renault for 2021.