May 5 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Mika Hakkinen has admitted he was “wrong” about Max Verstappen.
When Red Bull announced last year that the 17-year-old would be making his debut for Toro Rosso in 2015, Hakkinen said: “In no case is a driver ready for formula one at 17.
“Either as a manager or a father, I would never let a driver as young as that race in F1,” the former McLaren driver and two-time world champion said in August of 2014.
Four races into Verstappen’s grand prix career, however, the teenage Dutchman is now also the youngest-ever F1 points scorer and being hailed as a potential new Senna.
“I was against someone coming into F1 at the age of 17,” Hakkinen told the Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday, “but I am happy to admit that I was wrong.
“It is an example that times have changed.
“F1 technology is now very powerful and the information the drivers get is much higher – amazing – which you can study to become a better driver,” he explained.
“Everything is better organised, you can test in the simulator all day and in any conditions … I’m not saying it is easier now, but it is more possible to come in and reach a high level.”