Sep.7 (GMM) Former world champion Mika Hakkinen thinks Mercedes could be heading for the 2018 title, even though Ferrari currently has the faster car.
The 1998 and 1999 title winner is referring to the fact that while Sebastian Vettel’s red car is quicker, Lewis Hamilton is 30 points out in front.
“No one can say that Lewis is there because the Mercedes has a major advantage,” Hakkinen told his Unibet column.
The Finn says Mercedes is simply doing a better job than Ferrari, and not just because of Hamilton’s talent.
“He shows great race craft and does not make mistakes of the kind that Sebastian Vettel has made, especially at race starts,” said Hakkinen. “But he also benefits from having a fantastic team partnership with Valtteri Bottas.”
For example, Hakkinen said that while Bottas played a supporting role at Monza, Vettel was having to actually fight against his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
“From the moment the lights went out at the start, it was clear that Ferrari had two drivers racing each other whereas at Mercedes they worked together,” he said.
“It was a mistake of leadership and strategy on Ferrari’s part not to sit down with Kimi and Sebastian on Saturday night and plan how to run the race.”
The first lap action meant Hamilton and Vettel collided, with the German spinning. And Hakkinen said Ferrari can’t afford any more of that in the remaining seven races.
“To beat Lewis, Ferrari now needs to do a perfect job every weekend and hope that Mercedes has some problems,” he said.