Mika Hakkinen has warned Ferrari that Sergio Perez might soon overtake Charles Leclerc in the World Championship standings unless the team can make improvements.
It was a day of contrasting fortunes for Red Bull and the Scuderia at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen claimed victory from P10 on the grid, while Sergio Perez also progressed to fifth after starting from P11.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc had lined up in second and third at the start of the race, but slipped backwards due to pit-stop problems and a tyre strategy blunder, leaving them in P4 and P6 respectively by the end of the event.
The result has given Verstappen an 80-point lead in the World Championship standings, while Perez has closed in on second-placed Leclerc.
"Checo Perez's good drive into fifth now puts him only five points behind Leclerc in the World Championship, so Red Bull are looking to turn this into a 1-2 result if Ferrari does not find a way to respond," Hakkinen warned in his column for Unibet.
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Hakkinen urges Ferrari to discuss Red Bull battle over summer break
Hakkinen has expressed surprise at Ferrari's decision to fit Hard tyres on Leclerc's F1-75 for his second stint, a move that backfired when the compound proved difficult to warm up.
Leclerc was subsequently brought in for a third pit-stop to switch to the Softs, but as a result dropped down to P6.
Hakkinen hopes that the summer break will give the team an opportunity to discuss how they can come back stronger.
"Charles, Carlos and the Ferrari team management will hopefully use the summer break to discuss how they can take the fight to Red Bull more aggressively, and also defend against an improved Mercedes," the former F1 World Champion commented.
"We saw Charles using two sets of Medium tyres, then the team move him onto a set of Hard tyres which really were the wrong tyre to be on. It was hard to understand that decision, and Charles knew it was the wrong way to go.
"When the team finally put him onto a set of Soft tyres on Lap 54, the race was lost and he was not able to recover any positions.
"This is not the first time we have questioned Ferrari’s mid-race decision making, and it's an area they will need to work on."
F1 Podcast: Did Ferrari snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Hungarian Grand Prix, including Ferrari's botched tyre strategy for Charles Leclerc.