Hakkinen: Perez is the ultimate team player for Verstappen
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Hakkinen: "Perez is the ultimate team player for Verstappen"

23 May - 20:05 Last update: 20:30

Red Bull Racing said after the Spanish Grand Prix that it wanted to spread its chances by putting Max Verstappen on a three-stopper and see if Sergio Perez could finish the race on a two-stopper. Mika Hakkinen eventually concluded that was the key to Verstappen's success.

Mixed feelings Perez

In his column for Unibet the two-time World Champion wrote: "Checo could easily have won this race but Red Bull’s strategy handed the win to Max because they know every point counts in the World Championship," said Hakkinen, who knows that without his DRS problems Verstappen would have won anyway. "They also know that Max was delayed by the technical issue."

Perez was told on Sunday that he had to let Verstappen pass him. The Mexican let it be known that he was bummed by the situation, although he reacted very understandingly afterwards. "Checo is the ultimate team player for Max – even though it must have been extremely difficult for him to give up the win." Granting his cooperation with Red Bull's plan seems to help him get another step closer to a contract extension.

Ferrari needs to take revenge

Meanwhile, Ferrari were one of the big losers in Barcelona. Charles Leclerc retired and Sainz, despite a competitive car, ended up off the podium in P4. Mercedes seems to have mixed in at the front after a lesser start. "Ferrari must now regroup, understand the issue and come back with a reliable car in Monaco next week.  They now have a challenge on their hands from both Red Bull and Mercedes. But for the fans it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Hakkinen concluded his story by saying that he has a lot of respect for the way Leclerc dealt with his outage after mechanical problems. He finds it incredibly beautiful to see how the young Monegasque went past all the Ferrari mechanics in the garage to thank them for their hard work.

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