Mika Hakkinen believes Formula 1 should look to introduce more young driver testing and return to a tyre war with multiple suppliers in order to benefit the sport.

Two-time F1 world champion Hakkinen has remained a keen observer of F1 since his retirement in 2001, and was present in the paddock at Suzuka last weekend to mark 20 years since his first world title with for McLaren.

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Asked for his thoughts on the current state of F1, Hakkinen said that while he did not see the need to make widespread changes in F1, he felt young drivers would benefit more and be better prepared without the tight rules currently surrounding official testing.

“There are a lot of things, you can look at it like: ‘Ah that should be different, that should be different!’ But I don’t quote that personally, I cannot change it, so better not to try to focus it too much,” Hakkinen said.

“But certainly young drivers who are coming to Formula 1, it is quite challenging, because there is no testing. That in my opinion would be much more useful if the young drivers can test and develop themselves.

“Because whatever sport you do, if you cannot practice your sport, how do you improve? Of course the technical side of the cars, how to develop the engines, chassis, if you’re not allowed to test?
“Of course you can go on the computers and all the simulations, but they are not set in the real world.”

Hakkinen also said he would like to see F1 have multiple tyre suppliers again to create competition and improve the quality of the compounds supplied. This was last seen in 2006 when both Michelin and Bridgestone worked with F1 teams.

“I think there should be more competition, there’s no competition. There should be other manufacturers out there, that way the competition comes up,” Hakkinen said.

“When I’m speaking with the drivers, I have understood the tyres really go in a certain peak, and if you a little bit push even further, they just overheat.

“It’s not a criticism of what Pirelli is doing. It’s just a fact that there should be a competition. If there’s only one driver driving out there, it’s the same thing, it’s not a competition.

“We need competition. That’s exciting.”

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