Hakkinen, who has made more podium finishes than any other driver in the history of the sport, is one of three drivers with an eight-point advantage over Ricciardo at the head of the grid. Mercedes has a strong position at the top of the field, but the rest of the teams are well aware of the threat posed by the Australian. The last time that he contested the final race of the season was at the Italian Grand Prix. He was forced to retire from the race due to a dislocated shoulder suffered during practice. Hakkinen has a very good position in the team.
The super turbo engine that he has been using since the beginning of the season is proving to be a huge asset to his championship chances. ‐Valtteri Bottas has a similar position in the team. ‐The Finn has also been forced to retire earlier than the Finn. The problem for Bottas is that he has been unable to establish a consistent pace compared to his teammate. We all know what happens when you struggle to match your rivals on a regular basis.
The problem for Valtteri is that his car has been unable to generate the power that the super turbo engine can produce. That has been the problem since the beginning of the season. When you are leading the race and only need one point to secure your seat in the final race, you may be tempted to make mistakes. The trick is to keep your cool in the face of adversity and not make any unnecessary mistakes which could cost you the championship.
The situation may not have changed if the championship had been decided between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen, but then it would have been different for Mercedes. It has been obvious that Hamilton is the favourite to win the championship. He has been winning races consistently since taking the reins of the team. Valtteri Bottas has been left in the shade as a result.
As a team mate, you need to push your best mate as hard as possible to do everything he does not to break the rules. In the same way, the team needs to keep working to the minimum and take no risks. So far, we have seen this strategy used by both teams. This has meant that Hamilton is constantly being out-qualified. by the end of the season he will be out-qualified by his teammate by at the most critical races, such as Monaco, Silverstone and Spa.
As a teammate, it is likely that Hamilton and Valtteri will be the ones to fight to the end. Bottas he is still the man that can challenge Hamilton for the title. However, there are several races left for other teams to make their moves and get a jump on the Finn.