Mika Hakkinen has suggested that Red Bull and Max Verstappen should still be concerned about their reliability, despite a recent run of strong races.
Verstappen’s victory at the Canadian Grand Prix was number six of the 2022 season for the
Dutchman, who did everything in his power to capitalise on the grid penalty
imposed upon his title rival, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
worked his way through the field to finish fifth overall, Verstappen increased
his points tally in the championship to 175 points, 49 ahead of Leclerc.
“We did not have any doubt that Max is in control of the championship
before the weekend, and the result in Montreal confirms that Red Bull’s package
is simply too strong at the moment,” Hakkinen said in his column for Unibet.
“They have straight line speed, good balance and a car that Max can
clearly work with on every type of circuit.
“Montreal is the kind of circuit
where you need a little bit of everything – good confidence under braking and
low speed performance, but strong traction for the straights where you can
overtake – and Max’s car looked brilliant everywhere.”
The only problem for Red Bull appears to be reliability
However, according to Hakkinen, it could all come tumbling down
if their reliability issues aren’t fixed soon, given that Sergio Perez was forced to retire from the Canadian GP due to a mechanical problem.
“The only problem for Red Bull appears to
be reliability,” the former World Champion stated.
“Once again we saw an issue in the race for Checo Perez.
That must have made the team nervous on a day when Max really needed to take
advantage of title rival Charles Leclerc starting from the back of the grid, so
the great result will have been a relief for them.
“Reliability seems to be the
only thing Max, Checo and the team need to worry about.”
Ferrari have similar concerns
As for Ferrari, Hakkinen still believes that they can pose a challenge, but acknowledges that they too have concerns over reliability.
“Ferrari has a quick car but it’s fragile,” Hakkinen added.
“Team boss Mattia Binotto is
right to say that it’s better to have a fast car with some reliability issues
than a slow car which finishes.
“If the team can get on top of their
reliability problems, Charles and Carlos [Sainz] can definitely challenge Red Bull
again, although that 49 point gap between Max and Charles is not going to be
easy to close down.
“Not only do Ferrari need to win some races, they also
need Max to hit trouble.”