Mercedes urged to snub George Russell to keep Valtteri Bottas in Lewis Hamilton claim | F1 | sport
Mika Hakkinen urged Mercedes to snub George Russell and keep Valtteri Bottas. There are strong rumors that Russell will replace the Finnish driver and line up alongside Lewis Hamilton next season.
But the 1998 and 1999 F1 world champion defended his compatriot and believes he should stay with the German team.
He told RTL: “If you look at the facts, the results of all the years that Valtteri has driven with Lewis (Hamilton) – what the team has achieved with these two drivers – you can’t beat that.
“It’s amazing, it’s been awesome.”
He gushed about Bottas’ abilities in the car and mentioned the challenges of driving alongside someone of Hamilton’s caliber.
“He (Bottas) is a brilliant driver. He is criticized too much. Too many, ”said the 52-year-old former McLaren driver.
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“Driving alongside Lewis is no easy task. Being talented and quick is not enough. The experience of these people is simply amazing.
“You don’t learn that on the Internet or in books.”
Bottas previously mentioned that the seven-time champion would like him to stay with the squad, at least until 2022.
“Within the team I’m sure they say ‘We have a fantastic racing driver here,’” said Hakkinen.
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“I love Sergio, he’s a great guy, but he needs to get closer to Max. It has to be at least two tenths and no further away or the car won’t develop fast enough in a weekend. “
He added: “To win the championship, you need two drivers who score regularly, who push each other with tight times in order to develop the car. Every Grand Prix counts.
The next stop on the F1 calendar is the Belgian Grand Prix where Mercedes and Red Bull will face each other again.