Hakkinen will return to the field for the Race of Champions on February 5-6, which takes place in the Swedish resort of Pite Havsbad with an off-road course in ice and snow.

Current Mercedes F1 driver Bottas announced in September that he would make his Race of Champions debut next year, and he will now partner with Hakkinen.

Bottas and Hakkinen will represent the Finnish squad in the Nations Cup, with the two drivers also scheduled to compete in the individual champions of champions event.

“I am very happy to be back in racing and to finally be able to participate in the Race Of Champions,” said Hakkinen, who won the F1 drivers’ title in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren and made a competitive outing in the one of the manufacturer’s GT3 cars at the Suzuka 10 Hours in 2019.

“It will be very different from racing in Formula 1, but I love competition and driving on snow and ice is so spectacular.

“I will try to train at home in northern Finland before the event.

“It is an honor to represent the Finland team with Valtteri Bottas. We will do our best to win the title and I hope there will be a lot of Finnish fans who will come and support us.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1st position, lifts his trophy

Photo By: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Bottas added: “We have become good friends with Mika so I am very happy to have him as a teammate to represent Finland at the ROC Nations Cup.

“But of course we have to try to fight in the individual Race Of Champions. It will be fun for the fans, whoever wins.”

Hakkinen joins an array of Nordic drivers for next year’s Race of Champions, including Bottas, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, three-time rallycross world champion Johan Kristoffersson, as well as rally stars Petter and Oliver Solberg .

“There is a long-standing sporting rivalry between the Nordic countries, so there will be a lot of prestige at stake, especially between Finland and Sweden,” said Fredrik Johnsson, President of the Race of Champions.

“The local drivers might think they will have an advantage, but competition from nations like France, led by Sebastien Loeb, and the United States with Travis Pastrana will be fierce and there are always surprises in the ROC.

“One thing is for sure, it will be very spectacular and entertaining to watch. “

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