Mika Hakkinen weighs in on Red Bull F1 dominance ‘problem’ debate

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) leads Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) leads Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone, July 2023.

Mika Hakkinen is the latest to say the current dominance of Red Bull in Formula 1 is not a “problem”, and he would be “delighted” to be in Max Verstappen’s position as it stands.

Red Bull have taken all 12 wins from the races available this season, with Verstappen taking 10 of them and earning an enormous 125-point lead in the Drivers’ standings as the season takes its summer break.

The 1998 and 1999 World Champion says it’s not a “problem” for the sport, however, despite the season having been so one-sided in their favour.

Red Bull dominance not a ‘problem’ for Formula 1?

Various voices from the world of Formula 1 have given the general view that it is up to the teams to catch up to Red Bull, particularly in Verstappen’s hands, with the likes of Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur saying he is not “hurting” the sport by dint of winning so often.

But even so, the sheer margin of victory through which Verstappen has been holding over the rest of the field at times has been up there with some of the most dominant spells in Formula 1 history – overtaking team-mate Sergio Perez at Spa and pulling out a 22-second lead within 27 laps to take the win last time out.

Hakkinen knows himself how it feels to have an Adrian Newey-designed car worthy of a World Championship challenge underneath him, and he believes it’s tough to distinguish how much of the current streak of Red Bull can be split between team and driver, given how well Verstappen is performing on a personal level.

“I know Adrian Newey well, I won my two World Championship titles with his cars,” Hakkinen told La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Top 10 earliest season finishes: Where could Max Verstappen rank on all-time list?

Revealed: Max Verstappen’s favourite races from the F1 2023 season so far

“Every time there are technical changes he comes up with a winning design, he finds solutions around the new rules.

“After 2022 it wasn’t hard to predict that Red Bull would repeat itself, but when I saw the first tests in Bahrain I knew they would be super fast.

“Is it a problem? No, it’s racing and someone has to win. I don’t know if it depends more on the car or the driver, to divide the merits of such a feat is difficult. And if I were in Max’s position I would be delighted.”

Read next: Ex-F1 driver tears into ousted Alpine stalwart, claims he ‘couldn’t stand French drivers’