Former world champion Mika Hakkinen backed Valtteri Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo, saying it would be great for the driver’s career.

Bottas announced that he would be leaving Mercedes at the end of the season after a five-year association with the German team. He has won nine races with Mercedes, and has been a vital component of the juggernaut that won multiple Constructors’ Championships in a row.

There will be some who question Bottas’ decision to move from a top team to Alfa Romeo. The Italian team is not the fastest on the grid, and Bottas going there may not yield the results he is used to. However, Hakkinen has argued for the decision, and has backed Bottas’ move to Alfa Romeo.

“Valtteri has really proven to be a first class team mate to Lewis, but I am so happy to see him accept a multi-year agreement to join Alfa Romeo racing from 2022 onwards”, Hakkinen said in his column on Unibet.

The good, the bad and the ugly: Mika Hakkinen | PlanetF1
Mika Hakkinen (pictured) backs Valtteri Bottas to succeed at Alfa Romeo. Source: planetf1.com

“He has been a strong part of Mercedes, the team winning the World Championship for Constructors every season.  Being teammate to Lewis is never easy, but Valtteri has pushed hard, never given up and given the team a positive atmosphere,” he said.

Future prospects

Hakkinen added that Bottas would fit Alfa Romeo like a glove, and will be able to use his experience and winning mentality to help the team.

“At Alfa Romeo Racing, he has the opportunity to use his enormous experience to help them develop,” he said.

“With a completely new set of technical regulations in 2022, coming on top of the budget cap which started this year, I know that team boss Frederic Vasseur is determined to achieve some big targets in the future. Valtteri is the perfect guy to help them do that.”

Read more: Bottas delivers cheeky response after disobeying team orders at Dutch GP

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