Hakkinen: We expect Max to win before every race

Hakkinen: We expect Max to win before every race

Mika Häkkinen, former Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion, agrees with Max Verstappen who said winning the Dutch Grand Prix was not easy.

From the outside it may seem like victory was easily given to Max, but in fact the outcome of the Grand Prix depended largely on the right choice of tactics. The decision to switch to soft tires in the second period, when the safety car came on track, was a bold one, as you usually don’t want to give up the lead to Mercedes, but Red Bull were quite confident in their decisions and anticipated that Max might bounce back.

I can assume that Verstappen and his team are getting closer and closer to winning the championship, as his lead has already risen to 109 points! He is a very fast rider and a very consistent performer – the kind of confidence world champions get during a successful season.

I expect that next weekend in Italy, Mercedes and Ferrari will add, but now for the start of each stage, we expect Max to be the strongest.

Ferrari in Zandvoort again did not like. They qualified well, but in the race they clearly lacked speed, and Carlos Sainz’s extremely failed pit stop caused complete bewilderment. Mattia Binotto, who commented on this episode, admitted it was caused by confusion, but this isn’t the first time errors have occurred in the Scuderia’s work. Mattia understands that the team needs to improve in many areas if it is to seriously claim the championship in 2023 or 2024.

Mercedes’ decision to put soft tires on George Russell’s car and keep Lewis Hamilton on Medium caused a lot of talk, but they didn’t really have a choice. If both cars had stayed on the track, Max would have passed them and Charles Leclerc could have passed one of them.

If both drivers in Mercedes had been called to the pits, they would have given the position to Max anyway, so the only option left was to share tactics. But it’s nice to see this team improving and after the race George and Lewis reacted positively to the results.

Personally, I am now very interested to see how the battle for 2nd place in the individual standings unfolds. Charles and Sergio Pérez are tied at 201 points each, with George just 13 points behind them. If Carlos Sainz manages to get at least one win, it will also allow him to compete for 2nd place, so I think we will have very interesting battles between these four riders.

Zandvoort made much commentary on the decision of the FIA ​​Contract Recognition Board (CRB), which recognized McLaren’s equality in the dispute over the right of way to partner with Oscar Piastri. This team will have a very strong squad next year because everyone knows that Lando Norris is very fast, and Oscar is an exceptionally talented young rider with a great future.

The Australian has already won titles in Formula Renault, F3 and F2 – his list of achievements is simply stunning, so Zach Brown and Andreas Seidl did the right thing to fight for him as at McLaren they want both drivers of the team to fight for high results every weekend.

This solution is future-oriented. The Oscar contract dispute between Alpine and McLaren was resolved at CRB level, highlighting the important role the organization plays. They have been able to analyze the texts of the contracts, make a clear judgment and put an end to the differences.

This only confirms McLaren’s ambitious plans for next season, so Oskar Piastri and Lando Norris have excellent prospects in 2023.

Source: F1 News

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