Mika Hakkinen says every mistake Ferrari make will be punished by their title rivals Red Bull following a disappointing outing in Baku.
For the first time in 9,100 days, both Ferraris were forced to retire due to mechanical issues with Carlos Sainz exiting on lap nine with a hydraulic problem before Charles Leclerc exited due to an engine issue.
The disappointment was only compounded further with a 1-2 for Red Bull as Max Verstappen earned his fifth win of the season and moved 34 points clear of Leclerc in the Drivers’ standings.
Two-time former World Champion Hakkinen was left disappointed with the Monégasque’s retirement as he believes an exciting battle between Leclerc and Verstappen was on the cards.
“Charles Leclerc must be wondering what he has to do to find some good luck,” Hakkinen told Unibet. “He has been on pole position for the last four races and his qualifying performance on Saturday was really brilliant.
“He got everything he could out of the car. I think we would have seen a really close battle for the race win because Max was certain he could close the gap on Charles, but we never got to see what would happen because of the Ferrari’s engine failure.”
Hakkinen suggested Ferrari cannot afford any more mistakes if they are to have any realistic chance of winning either championship as Red Bull will punish them.
“Ferrari know the last three races have been really critical as two engine issues and poor strategy have cost Charles potential victories in Spain, Monaco and Baku,” he said.
Ferrari woes continue with double DNF
Ferrari's Sunday in Baku was cut very short with both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz failing to make it to the end.
“To have both cars fail to finish is one thing, but on a day when Red Bull then scores a 1-2 finish to extend their lead in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Wold Championships is a disaster.
“It will be interesting to find out the reasons for the retirements of two other Ferrari-powered cars at Haas and Alfa Romeo, because if there is a particular problem it needs to be solved urgently.
“We are only three grands prix away from the mid-point of this year’s World Championship and Ferrari really have to get on top of their reliability problems as well as have more confidence in delivering a strong race strategy. Every mistake will be punished by Red Bull, which is what we have seen again in Baku.”
As it stands, Ferrari trail Red Bull by 80 points and are just 38 points ahead of Mercedes.