Two-time F1 champion Mika Häkkinen says the 2022 championship “could easily develop into a three-way fight” once Mercedes solves their issues.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished the Australian Grand Prix in P3 and P4 respectively, which is an excellent result considering the performance issues Mercedes is currently facing with their car.
In his Unibet column Mika Häkkinen especially praised George for his first podium finish with Mercedes.
“George drove a really strong race and that 3rd place was very important,” the Finn said.
“It’s really surprising to see him 2nd in the World Championship, but his consistency and the car’s reliability has been impressive – 4th in Bahrain, 5th in Saudi Arabia and now a podium in Australia.
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“It’s also noticeable that he is ahead of Lewis Hamilton, although the Safety Car had a big influence in Melbourne so I don’t think that is any reflection of relative performance.”
Ultimately, Häkkinen thinks both drivers are doing an amazing job of keeping Mercedes in the fight, while the team tries to get on top of the W13’s issues.
“Lewis and George are both doing a fantastic job for Mercedes while the team sorts out its performance problems, and that is another reason Red Bull need to fix their reliability issues.
“This championship could easily develop into a three-way fight between these teams and Ferrari,” Häkkinen concluded.