Former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen believes that Mercedes has constantly slipped the ground under the feet of Valtteri Bottas, which has led to his loss of self-confidence. Valtteri came to Mercedes as a replacement for the 2016 title winner - Nico Rosberg - as the German driver announced his retirement from Formula 1 just days after taking the title.
Although there were several options for a vacancy in the German team, Mercedes then opted for Valtteri Bottas, who was showing great performance at Williams. The decision to bring Finn proved to be a complete success. Valtteri Bottas proved to be an extremely strong second driver, who with his performance helped teammate Lewis Hamilton achieve significant success.
In addition, Bottas was one of the key links in winning construction titles. The Finnish driver managed to help Mercedes win eight consecutive titles which is a new record. The 33-year-old himself was credited with five (he spent so many seasons in Mercedes).
Bottas will be leading Alfa Romeo into a new era of Formula 1 this season after Mercedes replaced him with George Russell, who is set to be a teammate of Lewis Hamilton. What is crucial for Bottas is that Alfa Romeo gave him a multi-year contract compared to Mercedes with which he had a one-year contract.
On the other hand, Valtteri's compatriot and former two-time world champion believes that the German team has undermined Bottas' self-confidence because they have constantly eluded the ground under his feet.
"Valtteri is a great team player and driver. He will drive in a nice team. However, the resources of the teams (Mercedes vs Alfa Romeo) are not comparable, "Hakkinen explains for SuomiF1. "Now, however, he can prepare for a multi-year contract.
In Mercedes, with only a one-year contract, while the light was always visible at the end of the tunnel, a locked door awaited him. " In Mercedes, it was as if he had a spare role "This uncertainty erodes self-confidence.
He didn't get the trust he wanted from Mercedes. "If the ground under your feet is constantly slipping away, it will erode your self-confidence," he added. "Valtteri now has the opportunity to drive for the team for a longer period where he will be trusted," concluded Mika Hakkinen.
Now is the ideal chance for Valteri Bottas to show everything he couldn’t in a Mercedes. Although this is a much weaker team, Bottas could surprise next season and show his full potential