Hakkinen: Hamilton could become greatest of his era

Hakkinen: Hamilton could become greatest of his era

5 November 2008 – McLaren's last Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen says Lewis Hamilton can become "one of the greatest drivers of his era" after the 23-year-old Briton became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion following a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mika Häkkinen, twice world champion with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, said: "Lewis has achieved unique results so far if you consider his age, his commitment, his sacrifices, his very short career in Formula One and of course all his poles and podiums. If you consider all this, and understand the complexity of the sport, it is definitively something special.

"If he continues to race in the future with the same commitment and desire to succeed, I think he will become one of the greatest drivers of his era."

Does Mika Häkkinen like Lewis Hamilton's determined style of driving? "He is a racing driver and sometimes you need to take some risk to achieve the result, look at what I did in 2000 in Spa. (Häkkinen, and Michael Schumacher were about to lap Ricardo Zonta. Schumacher went around Zonda to the left, but Hakkinen brilliantly went around Zonta's right and outbraked Schumacher into Les Combes. A brilliant, audacious, race-winning move).

Häkkinen added: "It was risky, but I had to try it, if I wanted to win. We cannot really comment or criticise a driver for some of his manoeuvres as we are not in the car at the moment he has to make that split decision which may make the difference."

Lewis Hamilton has been compared to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, does Mika Häkkinen agree? "He is definitely a very talented race driver, we all agree on that. The potential is definitively there for a great future, but it is a bit early to start making comparisons as he has not achieved yet as many results as some of the past World Champions," says Häkkinen.

How much of Lewis Hamilton's success is down to him and how much to the car? Häkkinen says: "It is team work, and therefore very difficult to say how many per cent is the driver and how many per cent is the team, but at the end the driver has the responsibility to carry all the research, development, partners investment to the win. He is the last and important link to that long chain of work."

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 21 April 2015

  2. Video of the Day: Ecclestone on Formula 1 05:34

    Video of the Day: Ecclestone on Formula 1

    F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone discusses the current state of the sport with the BBC F1's Eddie Jordan.

    F1
  3. Monday 20 April 2015

  4. 17:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  5. Bahrain Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 16:32

    Bahrain Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Lewis Hamilton claimed his third win of the year while Kimi Räikkönen took advantage of Nico Rosberg's late brake issue to…

    F1
  6. Manor Marussia 'proud' of flyaway efforts 13:18

    Manor Marussia 'proud' of flyaway efforts

    Manor Marussia team boss John Booth says the outfit can feel "justifiably proud" of its efforts over the opening four flyaway…

    F1
  7. Video: Ricciardo's Renault engine gives up 11:36

    Video: Ricciardo's Renault engine gives up

    Daniel Ricciardo's Renault engine gives up in dramatic fashion at the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    F1
  8. Ricciardo onto fourth engine after failure 11:32

    Ricciardo onto fourth engine after failure

    Daniel Ricciardo will move onto his fourth power unit at next month's Spanish Grand Prix, after his dramatic final lap failure…

    F1
  9. Rossi wanted longer fight with Márquez 10:12

    Rossi wanted longer fight with Márquez

    Valentino Rossi says he was disappointed not to take his battle for victory with Marc Márquez in Argentina onto the final lap…

    MotoGP
  10. Arrivabene: Räikkönen back on form 09:42

    Arrivabene: Räikkönen back on form

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene declared that Kimi Räikkönen is officially back on form after his Bahrain Grand Prix…

    F1
  11. Pérez hails 'one of my best races' 09:12

    Pérez hails 'one of my best races'

    Sergio Pérez reckons he drove one of the best races of his Formula 1 career en route to a points finish in the Bahrain Grand…

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Grosjean in the kitchen 05:22

    Video of the Day: Grosjean in the kitchen

    Romain Grosjean joins Lotus chef Max Portioli in the team's kitchen at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    F1
  13. 01:26

    Championship standings after Bahrain

    F1
  14. Sunday 19 April 2015

  15. Dixon jumps Castroneves to win Long Beach 23:33

    Dixon jumps Castroneves to win Long Beach

    Scott Dixon comfortably won a fast-paced Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, helping his championship aspirations after…

    Indy
  16. 21:46

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday at Sakhir

    F1
  17. Vettel admits being unable to find rhythm 21:37

    Vettel admits being unable to find rhythm

    Sebastian Vettel says he wasn't able to find a good rhythm as he made several errors on his way to fifth place at the Bahrain…

    F1
  18. 21:25

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Río Hondo

    MotoGP
  19. Alonso encouraged after achieving objective 21:20

    Alonso encouraged after achieving objective

    McLaren driver Fernando Alonso says he was satisfied to achieve his pre-race objective by finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix…

    F1
  20. Rossi wins as Márquez crashes out 20:44

    Rossi wins as Márquez crashes out

    Championship leader Valentino Rossi claimed his second victory of the season in Argentina after a dramatic finale in which Marc…

    MotoGP
  21. Bottas pleased to fend off Vettel 19:56

    Bottas pleased to fend off Vettel

    Valtteri Bottas was pleased with his efforts after keeping Sebastian Vettel at bay during the closing stages of the Bahrain…

    F1
  22. Räikkönen left with mixed feelings 19:17

    Räikkönen left with mixed feelings

    Kimi Räikkönen was left to ponder what might have been after narrowly missing out on victory in Sunday's Bahrain Grand…

    F1
  23. Hamilton urges Mercedes to 'keep pushing' 19:08

    Hamilton urges Mercedes to 'keep pushing'

    Lewis Hamilton has urged Mercedes to "keep pushing" with development after another strong Ferrari performance in…

    F1
  24. 17:48

    In full: Bahrain Grand Prix race result

    F1
  25. Hamilton wins ahead of Räikkönen in Bahrain 17:46

    Hamilton wins ahead of Räikkönen in Bahrain

    Lewis Hamilton took his third win of the season with a commanding drive at the Bahrain Grand Prix, while Ferrari's Kimi…

    F1
  26. 15:46

    Follow the Bahrain Grand Prix live!

    F1
  27. Ecclestone happy with V6s if costs controlled 14:55

    Ecclestone happy with V6s if costs controlled

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that he would be happy for the sport to continue using the current V6 turbocharged…

    F1
  28. 14:21

    Starting grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix

    F1
  29. Video: Drivers meet the fans at Sakhir 14:16

    Video: Drivers meet the fans at Sakhir

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi…

    F1
  30. Haryanto secures first GP2 win in Bahrain 13:05

    Haryanto secures first GP2 win in Bahrain

    Indonesian driver Rio Haryanto claimed his maiden GP2 victory during the Sprint Race in Bahrain, passing Julián Leal early on…

    GP2
  31. Bell to make return at Indianapolis 500 11:15

    Bell to make return at Indianapolis 500

    Townsend Bell will return to IndyCar at next month's Indianapolis 500, driving for Dreyer & Reinbold Kingdom Racing. Bell has…

    Indy
  32. Video of the Day: Verstappen vs Sainz Jr. 05:12

    Video of the Day: Verstappen vs Sainz Jr.

    Toro Rosso drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. go head-to-head in an autograph battle.

    F1
  33. Saturday 18 April 2015

  34. Castroneves takes record Long Beach pole 23:29

    Castroneves takes record Long Beach pole

    Hélio Castroneves will start on pole for tomorrow's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach after breaking the track record in…

    Indy
  35. Daly to replace injured Moran Jr. 20:34

    Daly to replace injured Moran Jr.

    American Conor Daly will fill in for Rocky Moran Jr. this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Moran Jr., 34, would…

    Indy
  36. 19:54

    Latest F1 photos: Saturday at Sakhir

    F1
  37. Button senses improvement despite problems 19:42

    Button senses improvement despite problems

    Jenson Button is adamant that McLaren is making strides despite the Briton being plagued by problems so far this weekend in…

    F1
  38. Márquez dominates to take Argentina pole 18:57

    Márquez dominates to take Argentina pole

    World Champion Marc Márquez took a dominant pole position after controlling qualifying at the Río Hondo Circuit in…

    MotoGP
  39. Vettel: Ferrari will be closer in the race 18:52

    Vettel: Ferrari will be closer in the race

    Sebastian Vettel is confident that Ferrari will provide Mercedes with an even greater challenge in race conditions in…

    F1
  40. Rosberg says he 'got it wrong' with strategy 18:17

    Rosberg says he 'got it wrong' with strategy

    Nico Rosberg has admitted that he "got it wrong" with regards to his qualifying strategy in Bahrain after ending up third on the…

    F1
  41. First Bahrain pole pleases Hamilton 17:58

    First Bahrain pole pleases Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton was in high spirits after securing his first pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday…

    F1
  42. Vandoorne elated by perfect start 17:42

    Vandoorne elated by perfect start

    McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne says his GP2 season could not have started in better fashion as he followed up pole…

    GP2
  43. 17:09

    Bahrain Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
more news