Mika Hakkinen feels that Max Verstappen trying to intimidate Lewis Hamilton is a bad idea as it just pushes the latter to work harder.
2 time F1 Champion Hakkinen, recently criticized Verstappen’s driving at last week’s Sao Paolo GP. The Red Bull driver and Hamilton came very close to each other while racing and almost made contact.
Hamilton was much faster than Verstappen at Interlagos. The 24 year old tried to hold him for a long time but the Mercedes driver was right on tail throughout. On lap 48, Hamilton tried to take the lead from Max going around the outside of the RB16B at turn 4. The Dutchman was able to hold his position but had to force Lewis off track.
100% not stolen this footage from Sky Sports. FACTS pic.twitter.com/wHUWBI5X8I
— Steve Alvarez Brown (@_SuperGT) November 16, 2021
Verstappen wasn’t penalized by the stewards but Mercedes have asked for a ‘right for review’ for the same on Tuesday. The onboard footage of the Red Bull shows that Max kept his steering wheel open while racing Hamilton at the turn. That led to both the drivers leaving the track and having to take the escape route to rejoin safely.
Hakkinen feels that Verstappen took this approach only to intimidate Hamilton.
“What happened at Turn 4 was an example of how hard Max is prepared to push. Keeping the steering wheel open is an easy way to intimidate a rival. But it can also lead to a collision. In that case, you never know what might happen.” he said.
Lewis Hamilton won’t be intimidated, Max should know better, says Hakkinen
The former McLaren driver said that Hamilton is not someone who will let his rivals get to his head. Incidents like the one at Interlagos will only motivate the 7-time World Champion.
“What happened at Turn 4 was an example of how hard Max is prepared to push. Keeping the steering wheel open is an easy way to intimidate a rival, but it can also lead to a collision. In that case, you never know what might happen.” said Hakkinen.
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU PUT YOUR MIND TO! This weekend is proof. We fought this battle on the track and I couldn’t be more proud of @mercedesamgf1 and my incredible teammate @valtteribottas who I couldn’t do this without. EU AMO BRASIL 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 We keep fighting, keep pushing. pic.twitter.com/CBD7QbIt1J
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 14, 2021
“I am not sure that intimidating Lewis will work. He likes a challenge. It gives him extra focus!”
“I was teammate to Ayrton Senna and a rival to Michael Schumacher, two drivers who sometimes used very aggressive tactics.” he continued.
“There is a famous photograph of me talking to Michael after the Belgian Grand Prix in 2000, explaining to him why I was unhappy about some of his tactics.” “I love hard racing, but the racing needs to happen on the track.” he concluded.
Max Verstappen is 14 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the standings with just 3 more races to go. F1 makes it’s debut in Qatar this weekend when the lights go out at the Losail International Circuit.