Former two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen uses a Tennis metaphor to declare that he believes Lewis Hamilton is at the front foot.
Before the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, it seemed Max Verstappen was just a step away from wrapping the world championship. But two consecutive victories have overturned the outlook of the entire F1 fraternity.
The Briton is just eight points behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship. But with a newer engine creating an extreme straight-line speed, Hamilton can again annihilate Red Bull’s prospects.
Seeing the winning experience of Hamilton and his current car condition, Mika Hakkinen thinks Hamilton is at an advantage against the 24-year-old F1 superstar.
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“If Formula 1 was a tennis match, I would say that it was ‘advantage Hamilton’ following his dominant wins in Brazil and Qatar,” Hakkinen wrote in his column.
“Although Max Verstappen leads the World Championship by 8 points, Mercedes has responded by giving Lewis Hamilton a car with which he can really fight to defend his title.”
“On Sunday, Lewis was totally in control following his strong qualifying performance,” he went on. “His Mercedes did not have the same straight-line speed advantage he enjoyed in Brazil when he took a new engine.
“But through Qatar’s sweeping curves his car had a clear advantage over his Red Bull-Honda rival.”
Mika Hakkinen praises Pierre Gasly but Hanilton was unstopabble
Pierre Gasly, ahead in the grid lineup, tried to handle Red Bull’s damage control. He managed to aid Verstappen in charging ahead, but Hakkinen points that the seven-time-world champion was just unstoppable.
“It was interesting to see Pierre Gasly help Max to gain another position,” the 53-year-old revealed. “It’s sometimes easy to forget that Red Bull owns two Formula 1 team and, with the championship at stake.
“We should not be surprised that Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri are going to work together when the need arises. Max pushed hard, but Lewis was already 4 seconds ahead when the Red Bull driver moved into 2nd position,” Hakkinen explained.