2018-09-07 18:09:10 UTC
(Most of the outspoken fans, have showed that they dislike team
orders. Hakkinen's opinion is that team orders beats the
'let them race' attitude.)
Mika Hakkinen says Monza was a failure of leadership for Ferrari
3:55 AM PT
F1 Associate Editor
Former world champion Mika Hakkinen has criticised Sebastian Vettel and
Ferrari for being behind Lewis Hamilton in the title race despite having
what he feels is the superior race car.
Hamilton upset Ferrari at its home race, passing both Vettel and
polesitter Kimi Raikkonen to claim victory. His plight was helped by
Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas holding Raikkonen up at a crucial
moment in the race.
Writing on his blog, Hakkinen, who beat Ferrari drivers Eddie Irvine and
Michael Schumacher to his titles with McLaren in 1998 and 1999
respectively, thinks Hamilton's 30-point lead in the drivers'
championship deserves praise due to Ferrari's current advantage.
"Ferrari has the fastest car in Formula One at the moment, but Lewis
Hamilton has a 30-point lead in the World Championship for Drivers,"
Hakkinen wrote. "No one can say that Lewis is there because the Mercedes
has a major advantage.
"He is there because he and the Mercedes team are doing a better job. In
my opinion, he is leading the World Championship for three reasons. The
first has been his natural talent, particularly in the wet, which has
meant that he has been able to upset Ferrari's weekends any time that it
"The second is that he shows great race craft and does not make mistakes
of the kind that Sebastian Vettel has made, especially at race starts.
And thirdly he benefits from having a fantastic team partnership with
Ferrari held a one-two lead at the Italian Grand Prix for the first two
corners of the race. Dan Istitene/Getty Images
Bottas' contribution to the race result has been controversial, with
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene defending the decision to let Raikkonen
and Vettel race freely at the start by saying the team hires "race
drivers, not butlers". That prompted former Ferrari president Luca di
Montezemolo to respond publicly and say that Michael Schumacher's
championships in the 2000s came using similar tactics.
Hakkinen thinks Mercedes is simply "playing the game" better than
Ferrari at this stage of the year.
"Last weekend's Italian Grand Prix produced a fantastic race, and again
it was Lewis who made all the right moves, brilliantly supported by
Valtteri. The two Mercedes drivers were able to defeat Ferrari at home
in Italy because, 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.
"Kimi Raikkonen did a perfect job in qualifying on Saturday, and with
Sebastian Vettel a little bit late onto the track it meant that Kimi was
able to benefit from towing up behind Sebastian on the long Monza
straights in order to get pole position," he wrote.
"This was a great performance from Kimi, but a bad result for Sebastian
because apparently, the Ferrari contracts give preference to whichever
driver is on pole. If this is true, 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.
"They really did not need to be fighting each other going into the first
corner, and when Kimi naturally defended - which he is entitled to do -
it put Sebastian off-line. This meant that Lewis, who was in third, was
always going to get a really good run at Sebastian on the drive through
the next corner, the Curva Grande, and that's exactly what happened.
"In simple terms, if the Ferrari drivers had not been fighting each
other, they could have defended much better from Lewis on lap 1.
Instead, they gave Lewis an open opportunity to move into 2nd position,
and Sebastian spun off when they touched.
"From then on it was 2 against 1. Lewis and Valtteri against Kimi and
this gives a team like Mercedes such a strategic advantage because they
know exactly how to the play the game."
Mercedes also leads Ferrari in the constructors' championship by 25 points.
Is Sebastian Vettel too accident-prone to win the title?
Our panel of experts react to Ferrari's defeat on home soil at the
Italian Grand Prix and the main talking points that came from it...
Rosberg: Vettel needs to cut out his mistakes
2016 Formula One champion Nico Rosberg has called on Sebastian Vettel to
raise his game after the German lost even more ground to Lewis Hamilton
in the race for the drivers' title following the Italian Grand Prix.