Verstappen looked to be out of contention for a race win after going into anti-stall on the start line, dropping him down to eighth, but he managed to power through and catch up to leader Leclerc.
The Dutchman overtook him on lap 69 of 71 but the two made contact which Leclerc went into the run-off area from, causing a three-hour investigation to determine the result after the race.
Verstappen was finally announced as winner of the race after no penalty was given.
Hakkinen said (quoted by GPToday): "It is a shame that there was some uncertainty over whether the Stewards might apply a penalty for Max’s overtaking manoeuvre on Charles.
"To me, it was a clear example of hard but fair overtaking. When the two cars got to the apex of the corner Max had made the overtake.
"I understand why Leclerc trying to stay on the outside but you cannot use the run-off area to overtake. It was good racing, and Max really deserved this victory."
Hakkinen also emphasised the importance of Honda winning in F1 as an engine manufacturer again.
"It was an important win for Honda, and this is good news for Formula 1 because it is important for all the car manufacturers supporting the World Championship to have their moment of success,” he added.
"Honda has been a strong supporter of Formula 1 since the 1960s and it is great to see them on top of the podium again after several years of disappointment."
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