Hakkinen Unsure Whether Red Bull Can Keep Their Winning Streak

by Adam OndrikFriday, 26 January 2024 at 13:00
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Double World Champion, Mika Hakkinen suggested in a recent interview it isn't as certain as everybody believes that Red Bull will win the 2024 Championship.
As we know, Red Bull dominated the 2023 season and went into the winter break with quite a pace advantage over their rivals.
In Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen finished almost 18 seconds ahead of the second Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver lost a few seconds by giving DRS to Sergio Perez; nevertheless, he was still at least 13 seconds behind the Dutchman.
Moreover, Red Bull stopped bringing upgrades into their car in the middle of the season, and they won almost all of the remaining races with it.
This means two things. Firstly, Red Bull's car in the middle of the season was better than everybody's at the end. Secondly, ever since the middle of the season, the team from Milton Keynes was probably fully focusing on the 2024 car.
Considering everything, it seems very likely the Astrian team should start the upcoming season ahead of everybody and go on to win the Championship again.
However, the double World Champion Mika Hakkinen pointed to the past, saying there has been a similar situation in F1 many times before, and it did not always turn out the way people expected it to. He told Bild:

"The history of Formula 1. How often have there been teams and drivers who were considered sure world champions even before the first lap of testing was completed and then didn't become one? Too often."

The 55-year-old clarified he still understands Red Bull objectively has the highest chances ahead of the first race of the season, but he still warns against jumping the gun.

"Don't get me wrong: I too am of the opinion that Red Bull and especially Max Verstappen will be the measure of all things, but you shouldn't feel like handing them the trophies before even a meter has been driven."