Mika Hakkinen says rumours linking Valtteri Bottas to Formula 1's top teams should be expected given his form.
Claiming a hat-trick of podiums earlier this season, Williams driver was linked to a move to McLaren.
The Guardian reported that the Finn "is expected to be the next new driver to win a grand prix after three podium finishes in the past three races. He is now considered a real-deal F1 driver."
The newspaper added that Williams had been unable to lock Bottas into a new deal as the "failure to announce their driver lineup for next season suggests there are issues with his contract there."
And although none of the parties have given any suggestion as to the validity of the report, Hakkinen says the rumours are to be expected.
"This is quite natural," he told Hermes. "First Valtteri is still a young driver who has only been in Formula 1 for a short time.
"Valtteri's interesting not only because of his team, he can also motivate others in the team and manages to create the atmosphere that is necessary for success.
"There is interest and that is good. What happens in the future remains to be seen."
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