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Mika Hakkinen

Hakkinen concerned by Verstappen and Hamilton taking 'very heavy risks'

Mika Hakkinen reckons Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton relied too much on the safety of modern-day F1 cars and circuits during their 2021 title battle.

Verstappen hamilton saudi
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Mika Hakkinen has expressed concerns over the approach taken by Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during their fight for the 2021 F1 world title.

Verstappen and Hamilton were involved in several flashpoints as they went head-to-head from the first race to the last, dramatically clashing at Silverstone, Monza and Jeddah, along with several other close calls elsewhere.

At Silverstone, Verstappen was taken to hospital for checks after recording a 51G impact with the barriers, while at Monza, the Halo was credited with saving Hamilton's life after the Red Bull landed on top of the Mercedes.

Hakkinen questions Verstappen and Hamilton's approach

Hakkinen, who himself spent two months in hospital following a horrendous crash at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, feels that Verstappen and Hamilton were guilty of taking their battle too far on occasion.

"Is it my style to do things that those two drivers did? Not really, it is not my style and that is because I had a very bad accident," Hakkinen told the Press Association.

"I spent a lot of time in hospital and I know the pain when things go wrong.

"These two drivers, they don't know that, so they do take risks, very heavy risks, and they rely a lot on the safety of the car and the safety of the track."

Will the rivalry continue in 2022?

F1 will enter a new era in 2022 as overhauled technical regulations come into play, with Hakkinen suggesting that the competitiveness of Mercedes' car could determine if Hamilton stays in F1 or leaves.

"It is going to be a completely new machine and the chances are that the designers might not find an optimum machine. If that happens to Lewis, it is going to be really hard for him to accept," he said.

"If you have been at the top of the mountain and suddenly you have to climb back up the mountain because you don't have the best car, it is going to be emotional for him to control.

"There are a lot of question marks surrounding Lewis. We don't know whether he is coming back, but let's hope he is."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Why F1 2022 could be the most exciting season ever

With huge changes being made to the F1 rule book for 2022, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to the new season.

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