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Why Zandvoort showed Red Bull still have the car to beat

After a poor end to the first half of the season, Max Verstappen and Red Bull have recovered with back-to-back wins in Belgium and the Netherlands. Mika Hakkinen thinks the win at Zandvoort shows Red Bull have the best car on the grid.

Max Verstappen's win at the Dutch Grand Prix saw him move past Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship, and Mika Hakkinen believes it showed that Red Bull still have the quickest package. Verstappen kept his cool in front of 70,000 home fans and turned his pole position into a famous victory as F1 returned to Zandvoort for the first time since 1985. Despite some hiccups before the F1 summer break that saw Verstappen lose the championship lead to Hamilton, Hakkinen is certain Red Bull still have the advantage in terms of overall performance. "We know the Red Bull-Honda is the quickest package this season," Hakkinen wrote in his column for Unibet. "Although the accidents in Silverstone and Budapest damaged Max's season and allowed Lewis Hamilton to lead the World Championship at the start of the summer holiday, what we saw in Zandvoort shows that Max continues to have the best car under him. "What is also clear is that he has the confidence and focus necessary to win this World Championship. "There was a lot of pressure on him at the weekend – and it is amazing to remember he is still only 23-years-old – but he did not let anything distract him." One area of improvement for Red Bull is the performance of Sergio Perez, who struggled in qualifying before battling back to finish in P8. Hakkinen reckons the Mexican has to provide Verstappen with more support, given how well Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas work together at Mercedes. "One thing which Red Bull need to work on is helping Sergio Perez to support Max more closely because Mercedes will always have Lewis and Valtteri working well together," Hakkinen added. "In such a close championship fight, having a strong teammate is going to be critical to securing victory."

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