Hakkinen saw Verstappen accelerate: "That was a key moment"

25-10-2021 14:32 | Updated: 25-10-2021 16:10
by GPblog.com
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Hakkinen saw Verstappen accelerate: That was a key moment

Formula 1 is gaining popularity in the United States and the stands at the Circuit of the Americas were packed last weekend. The fans were treated to an exciting race in which Max Verstappen won. Mika Hakkinen speaks of a gala performance.

"They [the spectators] were given a demonstration of why Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the title contenders at the moment", writes Hakkinen iin his column for Unibet. The two-time world champion saw that tyre management ultimately proved crucial. "Austin is hard on tyres, even the hard compound tyres need to be looked after, so the sensitivity of the driver is all-important."

Verstappen opted for the undercut after eleven laps and after twenty laps on the white-cheeked tyre, he went in for his second pit stop. "If Max had pushed too hard after his second stop I think Lewis would have had no problem at all in catching him in the final laps, but the Red Bull driver has matured a lot and paced himself perfectly. It’s not easy to back off when you know the guy behind is catching you, but saving the tyres was critical," explained the Finn.

Hakkinen then points to a moment where he believes Verstappen laid a good foundation for victory. "After lap 50, when Lewis closed the gap to almost one second, Max managed to push it back open for two or three laps. That was a key moment, and although Lewis kept pushing until the chequered flag he realised Max had timed his strategy perfectly. It’s just brilliant to see these two guys fighting wheel to wheel with incredibly tight margins involved."

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