Max Verstappen put on a dominating show in Baku as he ended the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the top of the podium. The Dutchman pipped his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and also benefitted from two DNFs from Ferrari. With this win, Verstappen also extended his lead in the championship standings. While everyone seemed impressed with the 24-year-old, former two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen thinks otherwise.
Hakkinen has said that Verstappen did not win entirely on his own merits and should be thankful to his teammate Sergio Perez that he let him win in Baku. He also thinks that Verstappen got benefitted from Perez at a crucial stage in the race. In his column for Unibet, Hakkinen wrote, “Max has Checo to thank for the win, in my opinion. Not only in accepting the team’s strategy but also in having a five-second pit stop at a key moment in the race.”
The Finnish driver heaped praise on Sergio Perez for his performance in the Monaco GP and in the practice races of the Azerbaijan GP. “The other point is that Checo (Perez) is doing a really fantastic job of supporting Max at Red Bull. After his win in Monaco, he came to Baku and was quickest in two of the practice sessions, and ahead of Max in all of them. To then qualify second behind Charles and take the lead at the start shows just how much confidence Checo has in himself and the car,” said Hakkinen.
If there is a problem it needs to be solved urgently: Mika Hakkinen
After lavishing praise for Red Bull, Hakkinen shed light on Ferrari’s woes in the last three races. He highlighted the need to solve if there is a particular problem on an urgent basis. “Ferrari know that the last three races have been really critical as two engine issues and poor strategy have cost Charles potential victories in Spain, Monaco and Baku…It will be interesting to find out the reasons for the retirements of two other Ferrari-powered cars at Haas and Alfa Romeo, because if there is a particular problem it needs to be solved urgently,” said Hakkinen.