Hakkinen: Verstappen is ready to punish Mercedes for mistakes
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Hakkinen: "Verstappen is ready to punish Mercedes for mistakes"

19-08-2020 11:34 Last update: 14:42

Mika Hakkinen enjoyed the fact that Max Verstappen was able to split Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas during the Spanish Grand Prix. The 51-year-old former Formula 1 driver believes that Verstappen knows how to capitalize on every Mercedes mistake and says that Red bull Racing's strategy also anticipated well on what the German world champion was planning in the final stages.

"This was not a classic Grand Prix to watch, but still it was very interesting to see that Max was able to split the Mercedes drivers and give them something to worry about", writes Hakkinen in his column for Unibet.

According to the two-time world champion there is no doubt that Albon really has to give in on his Dutch teammate. "It’s clear that Max is on a different level in the Red Bull from his team mate Alex Albon, particularly in qualifying", said the Finn, who sees that Verstappen is sharp to strike if the opportunity arises. "Lying second in the World Championship, Max is ready to punish Mercedes if the team or its drivers make any mistakes."

That Verstappen managed to take second place in Barcelona had everything to do with the bad start of Bottas. The Mercedes driver was disappointed afterwards. "That's easy to understand. Losing places at the start is always frustrating, but in Barcelona it's hard to catch up", Hakkinen says.

Red Bull defended potential attack Mercedes

That also ensured that a real attack by Bottas at Verstappen failed last Sunday. "Although Valtteri was faster than Max, the overtake was not going to be possible unless the team used the right pit stop strategy, but Red Bull reacted to this and defended perfectly. Mercedes’ decision to give Valtteri a set of soft tyres to try and attack turned out to be the wrong way to go", Mercedes should have put Bottas on the mediums, it admitted honestly afterwards.

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