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Hakkinen highlights key factor in Ferrari's strategy blunder

After Ferrari managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at the Monaco Grand Prix, Mika Hakkinen has questioned the judgement of the Scuderia's strategists.

Leclerc Monaco
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mika Hakkinen says human factors were the most significant aspect of Ferrari's bungled tyre strategy in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, in which the team's drivers finished second and fourth despite starting first and second.

Charles Leclerc suffered particularly badly at his home circuit, dropping from P1 to P4 after having to wait for teammate Carlos Sainz at the second of two pit-stops within three laps of each other.

By contrast, slicker pit work from Red Bull helped pave the way for Sergio Perez to take victory and Max Verstappen to finish third, with the two having lined up third and fourth on the grid respectively.

"In the race, Ferrari hesitated at the key moment, calling Charles in [on Lap 18], then pitting him again [on Lap 21] and also leaving Carlos out longer than was necessary," Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet.

"Red Bull got the strategy right. I know Ferrari have said they are going to analyse the reasons why their strategy went so badly wrong, but I think the technical analysis will be less important than the human factors.

"What makes one team have the confidence to make the right call, and another team to hesitate and get it wrong? That's down to people and the confidence which they have in each other when under pressure."

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Hakkinen praises "special" Perez

Hakkinen, who won the World Championship in 1998 and 1999, also reserved praise for Perez, whose victory was his third overall and his first at Monaco.

"Winning in Monaco is a very special experience for any driver and Checo Perez has really done something special," said Hakkinen, who was victorious at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1998.

"He drove brilliantly all weekend. He made a small mistake hitting the barrier at the end of qualifying and that definitely played a part in setting up the race as it delayed Max while he was on a qualifying run.

"However, Checo was quick on Friday and fastest in final practice so it was clear that the car was working well for him."

Monaco should stay long-term, says Hakkinen

With F1 having branched out into new territories in recent years, some of the sport's more traditional races are in danger of being forced off the calendar.

Grands Prix in Mexico, France and Belgium are all in the final years of their current deals, and the Monaco race is also not thought to be as secure as it has been in years past.

However, Hakkinen says Monaco's unique challenge to the drivers and its special place in F1 history ought to see the race signed up for the long-haul.

"Monaco has been holding Grands Prix since 1929 and is a very special race which should remain on the calendar in the long term," Hakkinen commented.

"It is a very good test for the driver because of the precision needed. One small mistake and you are out.

"On many of the modern circuits you can drive off the track and there is no problem – you can just come back on again! Monaco punishes mistakes.

"F1 has of course developed a lot in recent years with many new circuits and countries joining the World Championship, but it is important to protect the heritage of our sport.

"Monaco has always developed too, so I hope that together F1 and Monaco will have a very bright future. Each is good for the other."

Also interesting:

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F1 2022 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier