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F1 legend Gerhard Berger has warned Valtteri Bottas that he has no chance of beating Lewis Hamilton to the Drivers’ Championship this season because his British team-mate has grown stronger with his experience.
Bottas has finished second in the standing in the last two years but on both occasions he was never close to Hamilton.
Mercedes are expected to continue their dominance this year before a series of F1 rule changes are set to shake up the sport.
It gives Hamilton an opportunity to pul clear of Michael Schumacher’s seven world titles into a league of his own.
His biggest challenger – using that term loosely- is likely to be Bottas as he will have the strongest car.
But Berger, who won 10 races during his 14-year career before the Millennium, does not reckon Bottas has the ability to chose down his team-mate.
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“In addition to his insane speed and extreme talent, Lewis now has a lot of experience,” Berger told f1-insider.com.
“Valtteri Bottas is not exactly slow, but in the end he and most of the others would have no chance against Hamilton.”
Bottas will not only be fighting for the world title this year, but also for his Mercedes career.
The Finn only has 12 months remaining on his contract and the Silver Arrows are constantly linked with a move for George Russell.
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It is also unclear how much longer 36-year-old Hamilton will remain with the Brackley-based team.
The Brit technically currently unemployed as he is still negotiating his 2021 contract.
But Bottas is not bothered about his team-mate’s position.
“I do not care,” he told Pelicans TV when asked for his opinion on the Hamilton situation. “All Formula 1 drivers are good, so whoever gets it it will be tough.
“For now I can focus better on myself.”
Express Sport understands that Mercedes are confident that a deal with Hamilton will be struck before pre-season testing commences in March.
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