Mika Hakkinen: Turkish Grand Prix will be remembered for a long time

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Two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen commented on the results of the Turkish Grand Prix and congratulated Lewis Hamilton on his seventh title

Mika Hakkinen: “It is impossible to imagine a better way to show the world your skills than Lewis Hamilton did. No one doubted that at the end of the season he will win the seventh title, but I am impressed by his victory in Turkey.

Racing in such conditions is not easy – many racers have seen this. The temperature of the tires plays an important role when it is necessary to keep the rain and intermediate tires in the operating range on the track, which at first was wet, then began to dry out, but there were still puddles and wet curbs that could take the riders off guard at any moment. In such conditions, even the most experienced and talented riders find it difficult to maintain control of a Formula 1 car.

If the Racing Point was the best car in qualifying, then in the race – it’s Lewis’s Mercedes – it took him about five laps to warm up the tires, and then they started working. By the end of the race, Lewis’ intermediate tires looked more like slicks, but by rejecting the team’s offer to hold a pit stop, he showed what he had learned over the years. He knew what a car was capable of on badly worn tires, he felt he could attack in such conditions. Carrying out a pit stop was risky and disorientated, especially since he was seriously ahead of his rivals.

In such conditions, confidence decides everything: it is important to brake firmly so that the tires continue to work, but not too sharply – otherwise you can block the wheels. This performance by Lewis reminded him of why he became the best rider of his generation. This is a great way to catch up with Michael Schumacher’s record for the number of titles.

I first met Lewis when he was a kid and he was in karting. Even then it was clear that this is a very talented and goal-oriented guy, but winning seven titles between 2008 and 2020 is fantastic!

Lance Stroll had a great qualification and looked good in the race. The Racing Point car worked great – it was evident from the great performance of Sergio Perez, but it was Lance who won the pole and then started flawlessly. I know his father, Lawrence Stroll, because one of the companies he created – Tommy Hilfiger – was a sponsor of Team Lotus, where I started my career.

Lawrence is a successful businessman and energetic person. I knew a lot of riders who were financially supported by this family, but in Turkey we saw that Lance really has the necessary skills and talent to compete at this level.

It was not easy for Stroll, because at the end of the race the tires stopped working, but Sergio’s second place is an excellent result for the team. Sebastian Vettel finished third, and I’m sure Lawrence was delighted with this result. And Sebastian will be happy to join a team that appears to be heading in the right direction.

I hope that Sergio will find a place in Formula 1 – he and Sebastian have proven that experience plays an important role when you have to pilot in difficult conditions.

For a while it seemed that Max Verstappen could win – the Red Bull Racing car was very fast in the early laps. But when Max flew off the track, attacking Sergio, and his teammate Alexander Elbon turned around, Red Bull Racing had no chance. It may seem that the team missed the victory in the race, but I doubt that she would have been able to keep Lewis behind.

Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas had a tough day. Kimi performed well in qualifying, finishing in eighth place, and one could hope that Valtteri would perform as well as he can. Kimi expected a tough race due to the settings of his car, and Valtteri’s race reminded of how tough this sport can be. Esteban Okon’s small U-turn on Renault resulted in another Mercedes U-turn and damage to the wing. As a result, Valtteri would prefer to forget this day. I’m sure he will win back in Bahrain.

Despite the global pandemic that continues to create problems around the world, Formula 1 continues to race. It is a pity that we could not hold the race with the audience, but the Turkish Grand Prix was a bright event that Lewis Hamilton, his team and fans will remember for a long time. Great job! “



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