In the traditional column, two-time champion Mika Hakkinen summed up the results of the past Grand Prix of Tuscany.
Mika Hakkinen: “Lewis Hamilton won his sixth win of the season in an eventful race with multiple crashes and red flag restarts. The first Grand Prix in Mugello will be remembered for a long time, although we did not expect it. Until the start of the weekend, many teams and riders thought that a boring procession awaited us. But no – in the first corner after a long straight we saw a lot of overtaking, and only 12 cars finished in the race.
Valtteri Bottas had an excellent weekend, in all training sessions he showed the best time, and in qualifying he lost to pole position by only 0.059 seconds. He had a fantastic start and was ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the first lap, but then the race was stopped with red flags and he lost the restart. The line between a good start and a great start is very thin. Although Valtteri is upset about a bad start after the red flags, he put pressure on Lewis that weekend. It must be admitted that Mercedes has the best roster in Formula 1.
Alexander Albon’s third place is an important result for him and for Red Bull Racing. The team has a fast car, but in the fight against Mercedes they had to rely on only one driver – Max Verstappen. At this level, it is important to have two strong riders – which is why I say that Lewis and Valtteri are great for Mercedes. But if Red Bull Racing can help Albon support Max, they can create more serious problems for Mercedes.
The incidents at the start of the Tuscan Grand Prix showed how much racers should learn when arriving on an unfamiliar track. The accident that caused the red flags was dangerous – the cars were driving in a tight group, and the riders tried to guess when Valtteri Bottas would accelerate at the restart after the safety car. Everyone drove at different speeds and were guided by the nearest cars.
The video from the onboard cameras shows how difficult it was to avoid collisions. There was an accident involving several cars – this happens more often in the youth series than in Formula 1. The work to improve safety has avoided the worst consequences.
Lance Stroll’s accident made me worry because the car had broken down. A very unpleasant accident – the racer becomes a passenger and can do nothing, except to prepare for the impact.
On the day that Lewis Hamilton won his 90th Grand Prix victory, and he has only one victory left before the Michael Schumacher record, it is very pleasant to see Mick Schumacher’s demo race behind the wheel of his father’s car – Ferrari F2004. It reminded us of how great the V10 engines sounded, what incredible success Michael has achieved with this and other cars that have earned him five championship titles in the great Italian team.
It is good to see that Mick’s career is developing successfully – he is leading the individual competition in Formula 2 and will soon find a place in Formula 1. This will be a special moment for him, the Schumacher family and Formula 1.
Ferrari’s 1000th Formula 1 race gave us the opportunity to remember how important this team plays in the sport. It’s great that she celebrated this momentous achievement at the home circuit in Mugello. Ferrari’s achievements deserve respect – their famous cars, racers, champions. My best races are those where I fought Ferrari. My main rival was Michael, so I am glad to remember what they did for our sport.
While Ferrari celebrated the 1000th race, the head of Mercedes Toto Wolff told reporters that he was thinking about changing his role and the possible restructuring of the management of the dominant Formula 1 team. It is difficult to come to every race and keep the utmost concentration on every aspect of the sport, and I understand Toto’s words about the need to find a balance between work and family.
When I competed in the races, the season consisted of only 16 Grand Prix, but they could be exhausting, because we participated in the tests and in numerous meetings with journalists and sponsors. Teams are now scheduled to host more than 20 Grand Prix, and this year, between July and December, 17 Grand Prix should be held. It’s very hard. I am confident that Toto will do everything to ensure that Mercedes remains a very strong contender with the new structure. “