Hakkinen understands Vettel tyre outburst

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Double World Champion Mika Hakkinen says he sympathises with Sebastian Vettel following the German's tyre failure at last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel's right rear tyre failed 27 laps into an attempted 29 lap stint on the Prime tyres, prompting the Ferrari driver to heavily criticise Formula 1 supplier Pirelli in the immediate aftermath of the race.

Pirelli suggested that a one-stop strategy should not have been attempted while Vettel hit back mid-week, claiming that neither he nor his Ferrari squad had erred.

The incident came after Nico Rosberg also suffered a high-speed tyre failure during practice, which Pirelli attributed to external cuts.

"I can understand why a driver in such a situation reacts like this - particularly at Spa, because it is a really fast circuit and a puncture there is always dangerous," Hakkinen wrote in his Hermes blog.

"I remember how after Eau Rouge, I drove the McLaren in practice in 1997, at the Kemmel straight I was suddenly hit by a suspension failure in the car, at a speed of about 330 km/h.

"When that happens in such a place, you don't forget that quickly. 80 percent of the performance from a driver is in his mental strength. If this mental side is considerably hindered, then the self-confidence begins to falter, and this has an effect on the lap times."

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