Hakkinen: Bottas and Perez roles becoming 'increasingly important'

Mika Hakkinen says the support roles played by Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez with their respective teams will... The post Hakkinen: Bottas and Perez roles becoming 'increasingly important' appeared first on F1i.com.

Hakkinen: Bottas and Perez roles becoming 'increasingly important'

Mika Hakkinen says the support roles played by Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez with their respective teams will become "increasingly important" in the final leg of the title fight between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

Bottas took a commanding win in Turkey following Hamilton's grid demotion that ruled the Briton out as a front-running contender at Istanbul Park.

However, Verstappen's runner-up spot in last Sunday's race, ahead of Perez who finished third, allowed the Dutchman to reclaim a six-point lead over Hamilton in the Drivers' standings.

Hakkinen believes the strong performance displayed in Turkey by Bottas and Perez suggests that the Mercedes and Red Bull number two drivers could have help determine the final outcome of this year's epic title battle.

"On a day when Lewis had to take a 10-place grid penalty as the result of an engine change, Valtteri did everything that his team could hope for," Hakkinen wrote in his Unibet column.

"Sergio has had some difficult races recently, so this was a great performance and good timing for the team.

  • Read also - Webber: Red Bull urgently need to react to Mercedes pace

"As we move into the final six races in the World Championship I think that Valtteri and Sergio will come to play an increasingly important role in providing Lewis and Max with the right level of support and strategy options.

"Max only leads the world championship by six points, so with 156 points available during these final races the title could swing one way or the other very quickly."

Hakkinen was full of praise for Bottas' supreme performance in Turkey, insisting his countryman had achieved perhaps one of the best races in his career.

©Mercedes

"Valtteri showed great skill in managing the intermediate tyres which were used throughout the race due to the damp conditions," said the two-time world champion. "Particularly at the start of the race and then again after his pit stop.

"It is so easy to destroy the grip levels on a set of intermediates by pushing too hard straight from the pits, which is what happened to both Lewis and Charles Leclerc later in the race.

"Valtteri just focused on beating Max off the start-line, protecting his tyres until they were ready to be pushed, and drove a perfect race.

"There is no doubt that this was one of his best victories in F1, so I am not surprised at how happy he and Mercedes were after the race."

Hakkinen added that Bottas' victory, coupled with Mercedes' 1-2 performance in qualifying suggests that the Brackley squad's W12 has an edge over Red Bull-Honda's RB16B.

"What is also clear from the weekend is that the Mercedes car has moved ahead of the Red Bull in terms of performance," commented the Finn.

"Lewis and Valtteri were quickest in qualifying, and Max is admitting that Red Bull have some work to do if they are to win this World Championship."

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FIA denies Alonso 'different rules for different drivers' claim

FIA race director Michael Masi rebuffed Fernando Alonso's claim that F1 has double standards when it comes to... The post FIA denies Alonso 'different rules for different drivers' claim appeared first on F1i.com.

FIA denies Alonso 'different rules for different drivers' claim

FIA race director Michael Masi rebuffed Fernando Alonso's claim that F1 has double standards when it comes to judging drivers' actions, insisting the rules "are applied equally for everyone".

Ahead of last weekend's Turkish Grand Prix, Alonso said that the stewards' reaction to his move through the run-off area at Turn 2 at the start of the Russian Grand Prix was a clear example of different rules being applied to different drivers.

While the Alpine driver's action went unpunished, it nevertheless drew much scrutiny, contrary to several similar moves undertaken by other drivers on the opening lap of a race earlier this season, and which went unnoticed according to Alonso.

But Masi dismissed the Spaniard's perception of events, insisting there is no double standards policy in F1.

"Every driver is entitled to their views and comments, either internally or to the media, and that's fine," Masi said in Istanbul last weekend.

"The rules are applied equally for everyone. He's entitled to his view but we judge each and every incident looking at the actual incident and what occurs."

Asked of Alonso's allegations put additional pressure on F1's stewards, Masi said: "We are very fortunate that we have a very good group of stewards throughout the year and no, I can tell you that does not place any additional pressure whatsoever on them."

Some of the criticism leveled at the stewards has focused on a lack of consistency regarding their decisions. But Masi underscored that each on-track incident is judged on an individual basis.

  • Read also - Alonso: Luck avoiding us 'big time' this year

"The stewards are an independent judiciary to review anything, and that's why they are independent, to review it on that basis," said the Aussie.

"They do look at everything case-by-case. Yes, you can compare different types of incidents, but they are there to review each case, with all of the information and data that they have available, and then ultimately make their decision.

"Each team's entitled to talk about consistency and so forth, but we have a sort of general row of parameters, [and] they're all well and truly aware of where those are.

"If there are things that aren't quite right, we discuss them openly, and if we need to tweak them, we tweak them."

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