Mika Häkkinen says Mercedes was right to ‘split strategies’

© Wolfgang Wilhelm for Mercedes-Benz AG

Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Häkkinen says Mercedes was right to put Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on opposite strategies in the final laps of the Dutch Grand Prix, as it was “the only way to explore all the options”.

Lewis Hamilton was catching up to Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix, when the Safety Car was deployed due to Valtteri Bottas’ DNF. Verstappen then pitted for fresh soft tyres, while Mercedes decided to leave Lewis on the track on older mediums, hoping that he will be able to keep P1 in the final laps of the race.

However, the team did pit George Russell for fresh softs, and ultimately Lewis got overtaken by Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc, finishing the race in P4.

Some have said that Mercedes should have put both of their drivers on softs, and let them battle it out with Max for the win, while others said they should have both been left on mediums, so that George can serve as a buffer between Lewis and Max.

Mika Häkkinen, however, thinks Mercedes did the best thing they could by splitting strategies.

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“There was a lot of talk about Mercedes’ decision to put George onto soft tyres and leave Lewis on mediums, but really, they had no choice,” the Finn told Unibet.

“If they had left both cars out, Max would have passed them both and Charles might have taken second for Ferrari.

“Bringing both of them in would have handed track position back to Max anyway, so splitting the strategy was the only way to explore all the options.

“Good to see them so much more competitive and good to see positive comments from both George and Lewis after the race,” Häkkinen concluded.

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