Formula 1 |  Hakkinen: Like Sainz, I had to wait 7 years to win F1

Formula 1 | Hakkinen: Like Sainz, I had to wait 7 years to win F1

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The double Formula 1 world champion Mika Häkkinen, crowned in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren-Mercedes, like all of us witnessed the very spectacular but fortunately harmless accident of Guanyu Zhou at Silverstone this weekend. This incredible crash, as well as the incident in Formula 2, remind us that motorsport remains a very dangerous discipline.

The Finn nevertheless wanted to emphasize the progress made by the FIA ​​with regard to driver safety. While there is of course still work to be done to prevent this kind of incident from happening again, the fact that no one was injured is very good news.

“It’s the kind of accident the FIA ​​and the teams are prepared for. All the safety systems did their job and, even though Guanyu’s car rolled over and he got stuck against the fence, everything was fine. It was a very spectacular accident, the kind that can happen when there are multiple collisions.

“There is no doubt that the halo probably saved his life, or at least protected him from serious injury. Since its introduction by the FIA ​​in 2018, we have seen the halo protect drivers on several occasions. occasions. At Monza last year for example, where Max Verstappen landed in the cockpit of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, but Sunday’s accident was really significant.”

“It appeared to me, both in the videos and in the photos of the damaged car, that the roll bar designed to protect the driver’s head had sheared off. The team and the FIA ​​will no doubt be looking into details the damage and data of the car. But what should be remembered is that even if the car was upside down, and it was still moving at very high speed, Guanyu was protected by the halo at all times titanium and the high sides of the cockpit. The halo is such a simple but life-saving part. Well done to the FIA ​​and particularly to former President Jean Todt, as well as the late Charlie Whiting, who pushed for its introduction .”

Like Carlos Sainz, Mika Hakkinen had to wait seven years to win in F1

Seven years and 150 races contested: this is the time and the number of events that it took Carlos Sainz to win his very first victory in Formula 1, and incidentally his first pole position.

And if the Spaniard will have taken his time to put his name on the prestigious list of Grand Prix winners, Häkkinen recalls that the Ferrari driver is not the first to have had to play patience before experiencing success.

“Like Carlos, I had to wait seven years to get my first Formula 1 victory, so I know how happy and relieved he is going to be. It is a great achievement to win your first F1 race. those years of hard work are paying off. Carlos is a very popular boy and clearly very talented, but he faces Charles Leclerc and finds himself in his shadow a bit. This victory will take a weight off his shoulders, take the pressure off him, and I expect him to gain confidence in himself and his abilities after that.”

“Ferrari hesitated on their strategy, allowing Carlos and Charles to fight each other, which cost them time and allowed Lewis Hamilton to get closer. Listening to their radio communications, we saw that Ferrari wanted to try to help Charles win the race because his car had some damage I think the way Carlos handled the situation and took the lead with his cooler tires after the safety car was brilliant “But Ferrari needs a clear team strategy at every race if they want to challenge Red Bull in the second half of the season.”

“I would also like to point out the quality of racing and driving that we saw on Sunday. It was incredible publicity for Formula 1 to see drivers Carlos and Max and then Charles and Lewis beat it the hard way but in a loyal, leaving enough space every time. We really have an incredible group of drivers in F1 these days.”

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