Former two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen believes Red Bull and Ferrari will be a serious threat to Mercedes in Monaco.
The Silver Arrows have claimed an unprecedented five-straight one-two finishes at the start of 2019, and already talk has begun of them being unstoppable in their pursuit of a record six-consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
However, the Monaco Grand Prix is next up, and this tight twisting street circuit has a knack for bunching up the field – something which Hakkinen feels will allow drivers like Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc to challenge their dominance.
“The next race is Monaco, which is very different from Barcelona – a truly unique track. Red Bull won there last season, and Ferrari in 2017, and we know that both teams are looking forward to this race,” Hakkinen said in his Unibet column.
“Verstappen is a man on a mission, determined to be the first person to beat Mercedes this year, and I think the Red Bull Honda will be very quick around Monaco.
“Leclerc is another one who will challenge Mercedes around the streets of Monte Carlo. This is his home race, and while he has been very quick all season there have been a few small mistakes and problems which have stopped him from taking an early victory. He will be determined the bring Ferrari back up to the front of the grid.
“And then we have Sebastian Vettel. He is a four times World Champion, has won in Monaco twice before, and remains an outstanding competitor.
“He has faced some criticism in recent months, but I personally believe he has the ability to deliver victories for Ferrari in 2019 and re-establish a championship challenge. There is still a long way to go.”