Finnish former racing driver Mika Hakkinen, who won the F1 world titles in 1998 and 1999, has warned Scuderia Ferrari that Sergio Perez will soon reach second place in the standing by overtake Charles Leclerc if the Maranello team does not show clear signs of improvement after the summer break, when the season will resume with the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of the month.
The Hungarian Grand Prix was seen by many as a great opportunity for Scuderia Ferrari to reduce the gap to Red Bull and Max Verstappen, given the track characteristics of the Hungaroring and things seemed to go well for the Italian side, who started from second and third place, while Max Verstappen had to begin the track from P10, on a track where it is usually difficult to overtake.
Despite the fact that Charles Leclerc was leading the Hungarian Grand Prix after the first half of the race, both Charles and his Maranello teammate Carlos Sainz slipped backwards due to pit-stop problems and a tyre strategy error, leaving them outside the podium in P4 and P6 respectively by the end of the event.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull was once again perfect in their strategy and the win has given the Dutchman an 80-point lead in the World Championship standings ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, while Sergio Perez is now closer to Charles Leclerc in the battle for P2:
“Checo Perez’s good drive into fifth now puts him only five points behind Leclerc in the World Championship, so Red Bull are looking to turn this into a 1-2 result if Ferrari does not find a way to respond,” Mika Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet, as the Finnish former racing driver admitted to being surprised by the Maranello team’s strategy call to mount the Hard tyres on the F1-75 challenger of Charles Leclerc, a move that backfired when the compound proved difficult to warm up, something that the Ferrari strategists should have anticipated given the weather conditions and the data that was available from Haas and Alpine, who also used the hards.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection from Puma! Enter the online Puma Store and shop securely! And get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
When everything was already lost, Charles Leclerc was called in for a third pit-stop to switch to the Softs, but there was no more time to recover and the Monegasque had to settle for a disappointing P6 at the Hungaroring. Mika Hakkinen hopes that the summer break will give the Maranello team a good opportunity to discuss and evaluate how they can come back stronger for the second half of the 2022 Formula One season, with the goal of at least recovering some of the gap to Red Bull:
“Charles, Carlos and the Ferrari team management will hopefully use the summer break to discuss how they can take the fight to Red Bull more aggressively, and also defend against an improved Mercedes,” the former F1 World Champion added – “We saw Charles using two sets of Medium tyres, then the team move him onto a set of Hard tyres which really were the wrong tyre to be on. It was hard to understand that decision, and Charles knew it was the wrong way to go. When the team finally put him onto a set of Soft tyres on Lap 54, the race was lost and he was not able to recover any positions. This is not the first time we have questioned Ferrari’s mid-race decision making, and it’s an area they will need to work on.” – Mika Hakkinen concluded.
Leave a Reply