Pirelli a Serious Worry for F1, Feel Sorry for Max Verstappen: Mika Hakkinen

Published 06/09/2021, 9:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looks dejected next to his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Max Verstappen had an excellent weekend at Baku until he crashed out after a tire blowout at P1 with five laps remaining. Former Finnish driver, Mika Hakkinen, believes Pirelli is a serious worry for F1.

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The Dutch looked poised to secure his first-ever win at Baku after he overtook the reigning champion in the 13th lap. However, in the 46th lap, Max Verstappen involved in a frightening crash, when his left-rear tire failed at the end of the lap sent the Red Bull driver out of control and into the wall.

Verstappen’s crash was similar to the crash of Lance Stroll, who had an identical rear-left tire failure down the main straight. While Lance Stroll’s crash resulted in only a safety car, Max Verstappen’s crash resulted in a red flag.

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Meanwhile, the two-time former World Champion Mika Hakkinen admits that Pirelli is a serious worry for F1 because of the identical crashes both resulting from tire failure, and feels sorry for Max Verstappen.

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What did Mika Hakkinen say?

The former Mclaren driver, Mika Hakkinen, gave emphasis to the right kink in the main straight which puts the load on the left-rear tire and therefore resulting in a tire failure.

“I have to feel sorry for Max Verstappen. He drove such a strong race from P3 on the grid, only to suffer that terrible tyre failure on the main straight, at maximum speed. There is a right hand kink in the straight, which will have put load on the left rear tyre, and that is the one which failed.” Mika Hakkinen wrote in his Unibet column.

“We need to wait for the result of Pirelli’s investigation, to see whether there was an actual problem with the tyre itself or a puncture caused by debris. Either way, it is a worry for F1.”

Hakkinen on his experience with tire blowouts

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The two-time world champion shares his experience of tire blowouts, which also resulted in admitting Finn to the hospital.

“I have experienced tyre blow outs, and it is never a nice experience. It is very sudden, violent, and leaves you a passenger at 300kph. It was a tyre failure which put me in hospital at the Australian Grand Prix in 1995, and in 1999 I had tyre fail while driving flat out in Germany.” added Mika Hakkinen.

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