Formula 1 needs a tyre war, says Hakkinen

Two-time Formula 1 champion Mika Hakkinen believes grand prix racing needs competition between tyre manufacturers and more opportunities for teams to test young drivers.

Formula 1 needs a tyre war, says Hakkinen

Hakkinen raced in F1 from 1991 to 2001, a period in which F1 mostly had a single tyre supplier, but his 1998 title came with McLaren on Bridgestones and Ferrari using Goodyear.

The double world champion was back in the F1 paddock in Japan last weekend, having demonstrated his '98 McLaren as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of his first title.

Asked what he likes about F1 now and what could be better, Hakkinen warned that it was easy to find "a lot of things that you can look at and think 'ah, that should be different and that should be different'".

He said that as he "cannot change it, it's better not to focus too much", but admitted he would like to see current tyre supplier Pirelli have a rival.

Pirelli has been the exclusive manufacturer since 2011, while F1 has not had two tyre manufacturers since 2006 and will remain a single-supplier series until 2024.

"There is no competition – there should be other manufacturers out there, that way the competition comes up," said Hakkinen.

"When I speak to the drivers I have understood the tyres go on a certain peak and if you push even a little further they just overheat.

"It's not a criticism of what Pirelli's doing, it's just a fact that there should be competition.

"If you only have one driver driving out there it's the same thing. We need competition. That's exciting."

Hakkinen's other recommendation for modern F1 was to provide more track time for rookies.

The Finn graduated to F1 from F3 with Lotus, with minimal testing experience, but spent most of 1993 on the sidelines as McLaren's test driver.

That paved the way for the race seat with the team he spent the remainder of his F1 career with.

However, on-track testing opportunities are limited in the modern era, with most of the development conducted via simulation.

Hakkinen said: "[For] young drivers that come into F1 it's quite challenging because there is no testing.

"In my opinion it could be much more useful if the young drivers can test and develop themselves.

"Whatever sport you do, if you cannot practice, how do you improve?

"Of course the technical side of the cars, how do you develop the engine and chassis if you're not allowed to test?

"Yes, of course you can go into computers and simulations but they are not in a real world."

shares
comments
Mercedes: 2019 aero rules could shake up order

Previous article

Mercedes: 2019 aero rules could shake up order

Next article

Renault feels it's "collateral damage" in F1 engine arms race

Renault feels it's "collateral damage" in F1 engine arms race
Load comments
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021