JANUARY 9, 2017
Hakkinen confirms Bottas negotiations
Valtteri Bottas' next step in formula one will be known "in good time" before pre-season testing begins late next month.
That is the news from Mika Hakkinen, the former two-time world champion who is now part of his fellow Finn's management team.
Hakkinen was speaking to the Finnish broadcaster MTV, amid strong rumours that Bottas has now been selected by Mercedes to replace the retiring world champion Nico Rosberg.
"From the driver's side, the situation cannot be better than when you are wanted," Hakkinen said, presumably referring to the fact that both Williams and Mercedes tussled over the 27-year-old for 2017.
"It is a dream scenario," Hakkinen added.
Former McLaren driver Hakkinen, 48, confirmed that negotiations with Mercedes have "of course" taken place, but said it "remains to be seen" what the outcome will be.
"It's not my decision," he insisted.
"I'm not going to joke that we will know something before the first race, but there is not much time before the first tests and I think we will hear news long before then," added Hakkinen.
"I cannot say any more, but when you are wanted by a team, especially one that has been dominating formula one, it is a dream situation for any F1 driver."
However, some believe any new driver alongside Lewis Hamilton will struggle, but Hakkinen said: "When you can be on a team that is on top, it is your job to fight for wins and the championship.
"Of course I see Valtteri as someone who has what it takes to be champion," he added.