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Carlos Sainz

Hakkinen offers prediction for Sainz after debut win

Like Carlos Sainz, Mika Hakkinen also had to wait seven years before winning his first Grand Prix. The two-time World Champion says Sainz will be an even more formidable opponent now he has broken his duck.

Sainz win Silverstone
To news overview © XPB

Former F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen says Carlos Sainz's maiden win will give him increased confidence and ability.

Sainz took victory in Sunday's British Grand Prix to claim his first Grand Prix win since debuting in the sport in 2015.

Hakkinen started in F1 in 1991, but had to wait until the final race of 1997 for his first win.

The Finn then followed up his maiden victory with his first World Championship in 1998.

"Like Carlos, I had to wait seven years before claiming my first victory in Formula 1, so I know how happy and relieved he will be," Hakkinen told Unibet.

"It’s a huge achievement to win your first Formula 1 race. Suddenly the years of hard work and focus pay off.

"Carlos is a popular guy and clearly very talented, but he has been up against Charles Leclerc and therefore slightly in his shadow.

"This victory will lift a weight from his shoulders, take away some pressure, and I expect he will have even more confidence in himself and his ability after this."

Hakkinen hails Sainz's 'brilliant' Safety Car response

Hakkinen also praised Sainz's response to a Ferrari strategy call late in the race, when the Spaniard ignored the team's request to give Charles Leclerc ten car lengths' space for the Safety Car restart.

Instead, Sainz passed Leclerc at the earliest opportunity to take a lead he would keep to the flag, while Leclerc, who had front wing damage and was struggling on older tyres, was overtaken by Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.

"Listening to their radio communications, Ferrari were trying to help Charles to win the race even though his car had some damage," said Hakkinen.

"I think the way Carlos handled that situation and then took advantage of having fresh tyres after the final Safety Car was brilliant.

"But Ferrari need to have a very clear team strategy at each race if they are to challenge Red Bull during the second half of the season."

			© XPB
	© XPB

British GP a 'fantastic advert' for F1

Hakkinen also reserved praise for the quality of racing at Silverstone, with the leading cars passing each other several times during the course of the Grand Prix.

"One final comment I would make about Sunday’s race is the high quality of racing," said Hakkinen.

"It was incredible, a fantastic advertisement for Formula 1 to see drivers like Carlos and Max, Charles and Lewis fighting hard, but fairly, giving each other just enough room to race.

"We really have an exceptional group of drivers in F1 today."

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