Mika Hakkinen warned Ferrari that they cannot continue with their errors, as they need to have a clear team strategy if they hope to challenge Red Bull in the second half of the season.
The two-time Formula 1 World Champion was looking back on the 2022 British Grand Prix, and how Ferrari conducted their race, indecisive on strategy at best, with their drivers pushing the team strategists all the way, which was audible for the whole world over the team radio.
“Ferrari hesitated on team strategy, allowing Carlos and Charles to get into a battle which cost them time and allowed Lewis Hamilton to close on them,” Hakkinen said in his Unibet column.
“Listening to their radio communications Ferrari were trying to help Charles to win the race even though his car had some damage,” he added.
“I think the way Carlos handled that situation and then took advantage of having fresh tyres after the final safety car was brilliant.
“But Ferrari need to have a very clear team strategy at each race if they are to challenge Red Bull during the second half of the season,” he warned.
Hakkinen also won his first F1 race after seven years of racing
Hakkinen went on to credit Carlos Sainz for his maiden F1 win, drawing similarities from his own illustrious career, a career the Spaniard would be lucky to if he can go on and emulate, now that his first pole position and first win are both behind him.
“Like Carlos, I had to wait seven years before claiming my first victory in Formula 1 so I know how happy and relieved he will be,” the Flying Finn said.
“It’s a huge achievement to win your first Formula 1 race,” he added. “Suddenly the years of hard work and focus pay off. Carlos is a popular guy and clearly very talented, but he has been up against Charles Leclerc and therefore slightly in his shadow.
“This victory will lift a weight from his shoulders, take away some pressure, and I expect he will have even more confidence in himself and his ability after this,” the former McLaren driver insisted.
Halo is such a simple piece of equipment yet a life-saver
Hakkinen then reflected on the serious first-lap crash that involved Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese luckily walking away from it unscathed, thanks to the Halo.
“This was the kind of accident which the FIA and teams have planned for,” he said. “All the safety systems did their job and, even though Guanyu’s car rolled over and ended up on its side against the debris fence he was ok. It was a very spectacular accident, the kind which can happen when you have multiple collisions.
“There is no question that the halo probably saved his life, or at the very least saved him from serious injury. Since its introduction by the FIA in 2018 we have seen the halo protect drivers on a number of occasions – for example in Monza last year when Max Verstappen’s car landed on top of the cockpit of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes – but Sunday’s accident was really significant.
“It looked to me, both from the video footage and the photographs of the damaged car, that the roll hoop which is designed to protect the driver’s head sheared off,” the 53-year-old added.
“No doubt the team and the FIA will look into the exact details when they come to examine the car, damage and data. But the main thing is that the car was then upside down, still travelling at high speed, and yet Guanyu was being protected all the time by the titanium halo and high cockpit sides.
“The halo is such a simple piece of equipment yet a life-saver. All credit to the FIA and particularly former president Jean Todt and the late Charlie Whiting for pushing through its introduction,” Hakkinen concluded.