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Hakkinen on pressure at Ferrari – 'It's a national team'

Following comments from Ferrari chairman John Elkann saying that the Scuderia are making too many mistakes and must improve, Mika Hakkinen has spoken of the extra pressure involved in driving for Ferrari.

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Former World Champion Mika Hakkinen says there is an additional pressure involved in driving for Ferrari, likening it to an Italian national team.

Hakkinen's comments come after Ferrari chairman John Elkann gave a rare interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, in which he said the F1 team was making too many mistakes and needed to improve.

2022 began well for Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the first three races and establishing a lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship.

However, a combination of driver error, questionable strategy and poor reliability has seen Leclerc and Ferrari fall out of title-winning contention, with Max Verstappen capable of sealing the 2022 crown as early as the next round in Singapore.

While Elkann publicly affirmed his faith in Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto, Hakkinen said he felt the public nature of the Ferrari chairman’s words placed extra pressure on a team that is already under intense international scrutiny.

Hakkinen – 'There's extra pressure at Ferrari'

"Ferrari has always had a lot of pressure, and it is something unique to them," Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet, also referencing his nine-year spell with McLaren, in which he won 20 Grands Prix and two World Championships.

"Of course, at McLaren we felt the pressure of competing to win, trying our best, not being satisfied if we were not winning, but Ferrari has always had this additional pressure of being a kind of national team.

"There is always the feeling of extra pressure, and this cannot be easy on the management or drivers who need to keep working hard, pushing together and making sure they do not start to blame each other when things go wrong.

"It's interesting to see the comments of the Ferrari chairman, especially in public, as that adds more pressure on the team.

"I think this season has been difficult because they started with a quick car, race wins and a lot of confidence, but Red Bull have operated so efficiently, making so few mistakes and improving the car."

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F1 2022 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier