JULY 30, 2015
Vettel a threat to Mercedes title
Sebastian Vettel is in the hunt for the 2015 title.
That is the claim of former double world champion Mika Hakkinen, after Ferrari's Vettel broke through for an unexpected second victory of the season in Hungary.
It means the German's gap to Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is now just 21 points, while just another 21 points further up the table is Lewis Hamilton's championship lead.
"Vettel is a threat," Hakkinen told his sponsor Hermes in an exclusive interview.
"The season is only half over so there are still a huge number of points at stake. Vettel is doing an extremely good job at the moment," the former McLaren driver added.
Hakkinen also hailed the surge in form of the young Russian driver Daniil Kvyat, who earlier this year seemed easily outclassed by his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
But Hakkinen, 46, says the tables have turned.
"Kvyat is currently putting pressure on Ricciardo, which is putting the Australian in situations like what we saw in Hungary," he said.
Indeed, Rosberg admitted his anger with Ricciardo following their on-track clash, which cost the Mercedes driver a lot of points.
"Daniel is a nice guy," Rosberg wrote in his column for Bild newspaper. "But in Hungary he overdid it. It was absolutely my corner although the FIA did not punish him, and I have to accept that."
Hakkinen concluded: "Ricciardo is a respected and good driver, but he is clearly under pressure to perform at the moment."