Mika Häkkinen takes into account a surprising result in Las Vegas. The former driver predicts that not Max Verstappen, but McLaren or perhaps even Mercedes could take the victory in Las Vegas. The F1 drivers and teams face an enormous challenge this weekend with the lower temperatures on a new street circuit. According to the Finnish former world champion, it could easily become a lottery.
Despite seventeen victories in 2023, according to Häkkinen, it is not easy to say that Verstappen will again emerge as the strongest in the gambling capital. In fact, the Finn is betting on a McLaren or Mercedes victory. ‘Everyone expects Max (Verstappen, ed.) to dominate again, so let me go for something different. A victory for McLaren or for Mercedes perhaps? I certainly wouldn’t rule it out,” he writes in his column for Unibet.
The fact that he is betting on a victory for McLaren does not mean that the world champion of 1998 and 1999 rules out a victory for Verstappen. ‘Can Max take his eighteenth victory? Yes, he certainly can. It drives fantastic, the car is incredibly good and the team works well together. But new circuits can bring surprises. Every mistake will be punished. The walls are close to everyone, including Max,” says Häkkinen.
Opportunities for McLaren
According to the 51-year-old Finn, it could be a special weekend. Crazy things can happen. ‘Going to a new track is always a big challenge. No one has data from previous editions, so it all comes down to the quality and accuracy of the simulations. And that differs per team. Even though drivers have been able to practice in the simulator, driving on the actual circuit is always interesting.’
According to the Finn, a winner other than Verstappen may even emerge. In any case, McLaren has a good chance, to the delight of Häkkinen. ‘I am personally very happy to see McLaren so competitive again. We’ve seen some great racing from both men and if the team can get the car working well on this slippery but cold street circuit, then anything is possible.”
Everything is possible, says Häkkinen. Although he also tipped Mercedes for victory, he does not seem to really believe in a victory for the German manufacturer. ‘I expect a strong recovery from Lewis Hamilton this weekend. A win may be too much to ask, but with Lewis (Hamilton, ed.) you never know. And his teammate George Russell is also keen to get a good result,” said the two-time world champion.
Verstappen can take his eighteenth win of the season this weekend in Las Vegas. Also betting on F1? Via this link from JACKS you are eligible for 60 euros in free bets! If you play responsibly, you keep it fun. What does gambling cost you? Stop on time, 18+