Hakkinen Urges Verstappen to Keep Calm In Tense F1 Title Fight With Lewis Hamilton

Published 04/21/2021, 3:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the press conference after qualifying FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Max Verstappen kind of has a bad boy image in the F1 paddock. His anger has often made itself evident in crashes, as well as on the team radio. Given how important a driver’s psyche is in determining a race result, Mika Hakkinen believes that the German should keep his nerves cool while being on the team radio if he wants to win.

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The 23-year-old was third on the starting grid in Imola but soon became the race leader after overtaking his teammate Sergio Perez as well as pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen was leading the race, only being chased by Mercedes #44. The Red Bull driver won his first race of the season and now sits in second place in the championship.

Being calm can help Max Verstappen drive better: Hakkinen

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Speaking to Unibet, Hakkinen said, “Max can sound a little anxious on the radio, so the psychological side of the battle between him and Lewis is going to fascinating. No question that they both want to win, but staying calm is going to be really important.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“Max drove well, and with each victory. He will develop the winning rhythm, which is so important if you want to win the World Championship,” Hakkinen concluded.

Verstappen happy with Imola win, but feels there work to be done

The Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola was the Dutchman’s chance at redemption. He did exactly that and won the second race of the season. However, even though he took the win, Verstappen feels there is room to improve.

Speaking to Sky F1 as quoted by PlanetF1, he said, “I don’t think it was dominant. Lewis was following me quite well and for him to come back from P9 or P8 to P2. It shows that they have a lot of pace in the car as well so we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

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Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after finishing first on the podium with second placed, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

“I think, at the end of the day won the race, but there are no guarantees and we still have to work hard to improve because they are very close, but still for now I am very happy with the result,” Verstappen concluded.

The next round of the championships takes us to Portugal. The Dutch driver would aim to keep Lewis in his rearview mirror and bag another that will help in his title hunt.

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Arpit Gomes

322 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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