Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen has called on Ferrari to continue the confidence it displayed last time out in Canada at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Ferrari opted not to pit under an early Safety Car in Montreal, allowing its drivers to go deep into the race on Medium tyres in fresh air.
As a result, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz crossed the line in fourth and fifth place respectively following a dismal qualifying session the day before.
Ferrari’s 2023 season has been so far marred by a lack of performance as it has taken just one podium result in the opening eight rounds.
Writing in his column for Unitbet, Hakkinen says Ferrari mustn’t be discouraged if it is behind some of its rivals in Austria and instead focus on continuing its strong decision-making.
“Ferrari ran a good strategy in Canada and they need to build on that kind of confidence, even if Mercedes and Aston continue to have a performance advantage,” he said.
“Max Verstappen is running away with the World Championship for Drivers, while teammate Checo Perez has really suffered some poor races since Monaco and knows he needs to put together a consistent weekend.
“Behind Max there is so much to enjoy as Aston Martin battles with Mercedes Benz.
“It was great to see Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton on the podium with Max in Canada – three great world champions together.
“Fernando and Lewis are beginning to close the gap to Checo in the World Championship and, just like Checo, their team-mates have had some problems.”
Hakkinen hails Alpine investment from Ryan Reynolds
One of the bigger news stories from this week was Alpine’s announcement that it had secured €200 million through new investments.
Included in the group of investors are Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – a situation that Hakkinen sees as a positive for F1.
“Alpine, fifth in the World Championship at the moment, had big news this week with the announcement that investors including Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have bought a quarter of the team,” he said.
“I think that’s fantastic news for F1, showing how strongly the sport is performing in America, attracting new fans, sponsors and celebrity investors.”