Lewis Hamilton's 'natural ability is fantastic' says Button
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Mika Hakkinen has some words of advice for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after their crash at the Italian Grand Prix. The two-time F1 world champion discussed the dramatic race in which the drivers went home with zero points, meaning Verstappen maintained his five point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
In his column for Unibet, the Finn stated the collision between the drivers at turn one in Monza could have been avoided.
“In my opinion, it is always best to avoid the other guy and stay focused on winning. When you have contact you can never be certain what will happen” he penned.
“Your competitor might have a damaged car, but it can easily be your turn to suffer. There is no certainty about crashing into each other.”
“It is so much better to focus on staying flat out, running the best strategy and accepting that you cannot win every race. Sometimes 2nd or 3rd is an important result, especially when you are trying to win a World Championship.”
Hamilton complained of soreness in his neck following the shocking crash with his title rival.
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Hamilton had just left the pit lane and re-entered the track but Verstappen flew up on his left hand side at turn one.
Verstappen aimed to squeeze up the inside of Hamilton but did not have the room, and his car bobbled over the curb on the bend.
The wheels of his Red Bull came together with that of Hamilton’s Mercedes.
The clash forced the Dutchman’s car up into the air as both vehicles skidded off the track, with the Red Bull car landing on top of Hamilton’s head.
A similar incident almost occurred at turn four on the first lap as Hamilton tried to pass Verstappen around the outside, but the Red Bull driver squeezed the gap which left his rival with no choice but to go off the track to avoid a collision.
Stewards deemed the Red Bull driver more responsible for the incident and handed him a three-place grid penalty for next weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.
Hakkinen, who won his two F1 titles with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, was thrilled for his old team after they secured their first win since 2012.
Daniel Ricciardo claimed his first win since Monaco in 2018, when he was driving for Red Bull, while Lando Norris came home to complete a wonderful 1-2 for the Woking-based team.
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Hakkinen said: “I am so very happy for everyone at McLaren for achieving a fantastic 1-2 in Italy on Sunday. It’s a brilliant result, and one that they have worked very hard to achieve.
“Having won both my World Championships for McLaren I know the team well. I also know what this victory means to them.
“Nine years is a long time to wait between race wins, especially for a team which has won 20 world championships.”
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