Formula 1 | With Mercedes’ disgrace, ‘power has changed hands’ in F1 for Hakkinen

The battle for victory in Jeddah thrilled more than one F1 fan – Mika Hakkinen was one of the enthusiasts.

The Finn is all the more delighted, as the battle was both tight and respectful between two great champions. But who is the best between Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc? Of course, the double world champion does not risk issuing an opinion.

“It was a fantastic fight for victory. We’ve seen the best of Charles and Max, and it’s great to see how on an equal level they are. There is clearly a good level of respect between them and they trust each other even in such a tight race. »

“The way they both used DRS to try to give each other a strategic advantage every lap was fascinating. Winning by half a second after 300 km of racing shows how tight their fight is. »

Just as Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen are close in talent and performance, so the Red Bull and the Ferrari are on an almost equal level, despite their great aerodynamic differences. Mika Hakkinen makes the same observation.

“After two races, we can see that the power has changed hands in Formula 1. We knew from the first race in Bahrain that Charles Leclerc is incredibly strong at Ferrari, well supported by teammate Carlos Sainz. But now that Red Bull appears to have resolved the fuel issue that caused both cars to return in race one, they are just as competitive. »

“It’s great to see Ferrari and Red Bull so close to each other, the question now is who of the two can develop their car faster. The development race from Monday to Saturday will really determine who wins on Sunday. »

The question mark, however, remains Mercedes: the world champion team is the great absentee from the duel at the head of the Grands Prix. Until when ? It could last…

“Mercedes has a series of important issues to address if it wants to catch up with Red Bull and Ferrari. It was very strange to see the Mercedes cars go from 6th and 16th, with Lewis Hamilton clearly unhappy with his car’s setup. »

Perez consoled

Finally, Mika Hakkinen had a word for the superb poleman, Sergio Pérez, who had the misfortune to see the safety car come out at the worst time for him, just after his stop. But this 4th place is worth gold for Checo’s morale.

“It was really satisfying to see Checo take his first pole position in Formula 1. Eleven years, 215 Grands Prix, that’s a long time to wait for that, but you need a competitive car and he’s really enjoying the opportunity. It shows the confidence he has in the car, and that’s good news for Red Bull. »

“The safety car timing was a disaster for him, but these things happen. Checo can take a lot of positives from this weekend. It will give him even more confidence to have secured his first pole position. »

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