Mika Häkkinen shares his thoughts on the eventful race at Silverstone.
Sunday’s collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the British Grand Prix was a pure racing incident. When you are racing at those speeds and going for the win, these things can sometimes happen. As a top driver, going for the World Championship, you are not there to back off. It’s our job to race, and I know from my own experiences that when you are racing wheel-to-wheel there is always the possibility of the cars touching.
Max is feeling very confident. He has won five Grand Prix this year and is leading the World Championship. He made such a great start, and was not going to give up the position to Lewis very easily, particularly at such a fast corner that then leads into a complex of three corners – Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel – where overtaking is not really possible.
Lewis is equally confident in himself and his car. He has achieved so much success, and has so much experience, which means he is very focused on the win, and to gaining track position over Max.
Lewis Hamilton at the British GP in the hybrid era:
2014 – 1st
2015 – 1st
2016 – 1st
2017 – 1st
2018 – 2nd
2019 – 1st
2020 – 1st
2021 – 1st
He really is the king of Silverstone. ???? pic.twitter.com/lfqERIMCLI
— Alex (@Alex2006__) July 19, 2021
When I saw them touch I stood up and thought ‘Oh My God’, because that is such a high speed corner. It’s very fast and not one at which you want to go off. I am very glad that Max was unhurt, and it is another sign of just how strong these cars are and the fantastic work which the FIA does to make sure you can walk away from that kind of impact. At 51G, it is the kind of impact that would not have been easy to survive in the past.
This accident will really put some fire between these guys and their battle for the World Championship. Neither of them will want to repeat that accident, but they will be even more determined not to lift off the throttle the next time they are in this kind of close battle. We are going to see them fight hard for the rest of the season. It’s going to be really fascinating.
I found the new race weekend format really exciting to watch. I could not think of anything negative about it, only positive. By having only one practice session before qualifying on Friday, Formula One gave the teams and drivers a lot of work to do in a short period of time.
It gave the teams additional pressure and introduced risk.
The Sprint Qualifying provided some surprises, with Fernando Alonso doing a great job to make up places and therefore start the race in a much stronger grid position. Meanwhile with Sergio Perez we saw what can happen when you make a mistake or have a technical problem. It increases the possibility of unpredictable outcomes.
The new format is clearly there to provide the fans with more excitement, to help grow the sport, build audience interest and attract new followers. From my side it definitely adds something new and positive to Formula One. At the moment the idea is going to be tested at three races, with the next one planned for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, and I can see how Formula One could introduce this for selected events each season.
It is a courageous move to shake things up, and after watching the Silverstone event I’m looking forward to the next one.