Mika Hakkinen can imagine Valtteri Bottas winning championship with Mercedes
Two-time champion Mika Hakkinen says he "could imagine" Valtteri Bottas winning the championship with Mercedes, if the deal goes ahead as is widely expected.
The Finnish driver is poised to move from Williams to the championship winning team this year, following Nico Rosberg's shock decision to retire at the end of the 2016 season, having won the title.
Hakkinen, who knows Bottas well having been part of his management team, reckons he is good enough to challenge for and win the title, and says the interest from Mercedes will be a welcome confidence boost.
"The situation could not be better for a driver when a team wants you," Hakkinen told Finland's MTV3, adding: "Especially if it’s a team that has dominated Formula 1 such as Mercedes, it's a dream situation.
"I can imagine Bottas winning the championship. When you get to the team which is on top, and which is able to win races and championships, then it's up to you to develop, to take those wins and eventually the championship."
Although Mercedes has yet to announce who will partner Lewis Hamilton this year, it's known Felipe Massa has agreed to delay his retirement by at least a year to fill the vacancy left by Bottas alongside rookie Lance Stroll at Williams. An announcement is expected later this month.