Mika Häkkinen

Il_leone

Champion Elect
2000 - Again with Newey designed car expected to be strong. Early reliability woes cost him points dearly and left Mclaren a lot of ground to make up with 1 win from 6 races and teammate DC matching him .

A mid season break appeared to galvanise him coming back strong second half of the season with wins in Hungary and Spa due to that pass to help lead in the championship whilst teammate DC had a string of bad calls from team during pitstop

Then Indy when seemingly homing in on Schumacher at a rate of knots the engine lets goal and put a dent in him retaining the title.

A titanic battle in Japan went Schumacher's way after a short burst of rain.

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It was then people compared Schumacher vs Hakkinen as some thought Mika was as good maybe even better driver than Michael.

Michael himself said Hakkinen was the only one who earned his respect.

Hakkinen when on form was as fast ( even faster) than Schumacher and had the fearless commitment to match it.

The question was when he was not on form he would spend the race asleep and then suddenly turn up the pace as witnessed occassionally during those times.

Also Hakkinen was not as clever politically and certainly does not use the press to play games like Schumacher and one felt he sometimes let the team do the strategy for him too often and could not think as clear as Schumacher like the phantom pit stop.

Whilst Mika displayed iceman attitude compared to Schumacer , Monza sort of dispelled that myth
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
2001 - expecting another season of Schumacher vs Hakkinen never materialised

A practice crash in Melbourne due to brake failure spooked Hakkinen 6 years after he was almost killed . Also having become a father recently appeared to have changed his attitude to life and his commitment to F1 - post baby blues.

Some early indifferent races with a last lap exploding clutch in Spain whilst leading.

the season saw Hakkinen a shadow of the man he was and Mclaren unable to compete with Ferrari due to Bridgestone favouritism to defend against Williams and Michelin. Hakkinen spent most season fighting for minor points and deciding he wanted to take a break from F1.

This became permanent retirement. It appeared the last 3 years took a lot out of him mentally and he was not able to operate at that level anymore

Brief flirtations with Williams coming back in 2005 - due to the Button contract wrangle did not materialise
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Il_leone

Champion Elect
Hakkinen's two championships were somewhat marred by the fact

1998 - he had the best car and it was that Melbourne incident that proved crucial along with Schumacher running into the back of DC at Spa

1999 - he almost wanted to throw it away with his errors in Imola and MOnza plus signs where when things did not go well he simply gave up

Whilst on his day he was a serious threat to Schumacher.

He had a particularly stronger bond with Ron after Adelaide 1995 which somewhat undermined DC.

Mika probably retired too early at 31 if remember rightly but thought 10 years in the sport was enough for him

the bizarre thing is his old teammate Allan Mcnish from 1989 had to wait until 2002 to make his F1 debut
 

Josh

Champion Elect
Wasn't he the one who parked his car on track after a pitstop where the mechanics didn't come out? Or did I dream that or was it someone else?

It seems really absurd in my mind so I'm pretty sure I dreamt but I'm not sure...
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
I don't rememebr that Josh but I remember that in 1995 - 1996 the entire field fell out with him over the way he did he's starts claiming he was dangerous. It culminated with a race in Germany where the line he took resulted in over 50% of the field going out on the first lap and a ban for Mika - that was all forgotten later on in his career but another controversial champion.

Another think I know about him is that he grew up just down the street from Mika Salo and the two of them absolutely hate each other - to the point where they couldn't even be in the same room. I don't know if they ever made it up. It was actually one of the reasons Ferrari chose Salo as their stand in for Schumie believing his passionate hatred of Hakkenin should motivate him in their constructors battle with Mclaren!
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
I don't rememebr that Josh but I remember that in 1995 - 1996 the entire field fell out with him over the way he did he's starts claiming he was dangerous. It culminated with a race in Germany where the line he took resulted in over 50% of the field going out on the first lap and a ban for Mika - that was all forgotten later on in his career but another controversial champion.

Another think I know about him is that he grew up just down the street from Mika Salo and the two of them absolutely hate each other - to the point where they couldn't even be in the same room. I don't know if they ever made it up. It was actually one of the reasons Ferrari chose Salo as their stand in for Schumie believing his passionate hatred of Hakkenin should motivate him in their constructors battle with Mclaren!
Hockenheim 1994 when Hakkinen on the inside right lost control and skated across the track in front of everyone..he had been given 1 race ban suspended for 3 races after clashing with Barrichello on the last lap at Silverstone previous race
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
I've always liked Mika Hakkinen, and think his career handed him some raw luck but his natural talent ultimately shone through.

He'll always be compared with Schumacher, like Senna and Prost their rivalry at times outshone either indivdual's talent. Schumacher's career had all the advantages though. He was almost immediately put in a Bennetton as they were on the verge of hitting a purple patch of form in times when Hakkinen had the unenviable task of driving a nineties Lotus. The Lotus of '91, wasn't much more competetive than the Lotus of 2011 and less reliable.

When he first went to Mclaren they were in a murky area of under performence and before the glory (and during, sometimes) of '98 '99 they were highly unreliable on the occasions they were quick. Hakkinen struggled with the poorer mchinery for long enough and as soon as he got the winning car he won two on the trot. Taking into accont he almost died putting in a quali lap in '95 his fearlessnes when it came to qualifying after the accident is remarkable.

As for carrying on longer, after a career of effort - including 1 near fatal crash and 3 title battles, 2 of which he won - he was just finished by the end of 2001. Had he stayed on could he have become champion in '03? It's not ludicrous to say yes, but you know what Rutger Hauer said...


SORRY!! Wrong Bladerunner quote...wrong character too. I of course meant: "The light that burns twice as bright, burns for half as long."

Plus, he had a beautiful smile

...probably
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Funnily enough, if you think about it, Mika's two titles are a little like Seb's (in reverse order).

One where he had the best car, dominated, but lost some races to good opponents.
One where he scored pole every week, was challenged for the title by Ferrari and a journeyman having his best season and nearly threw it away.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Funnily enough, if you think about it, Mika's two titles are a little like Seb's (in reverse order).

One where he had the best car, dominated, but lost some races to good opponents.
One where he scored pole every week, was challenged for the title by Ferrari and a journeyman having his best season and nearly threw it away.

Seb has yet to cry behind the bushes after crashing his car
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Funnily enough, if you think about it, Mika's two titles are a little like Seb's (in reverse order).

One where he had the best car, dominated, but lost some races to good opponents.
One where he scored pole every week, was challenged for the title by Ferrari and a journeyman having his best season and nearly threw it away.
Well '98 was much more closer than the 2011 season.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
No, I mean he didn't retire after his moment of utter idiocy at Spa last year.
No because his car was still in one piece somehow minus a broken wing unlike Jenson who had a cracked radiator.

I'll remember the shot of the angry mob of the Mclaren mechanics coming out to give him hand gestures for what he did to Jenson
 

Sakari

Race Winner
Translating you a small quote from Finnish news site mtv3.fi about Mika Hakkinen and Ayrton Senna.

It's from 1993 Portuguese GP Qualifying where Hakkinen managed to beat Ayrton with his initial try.

- I came there feeling like champ and had the idea that, ok I am going to show him who is who.

The difference between the qualifying laps between these two was minimal, but Ayrton wanted to know where Mika got his speed in one particular part of the track.

- He came to ask from me behind the pits what did I do in that corner where I managed to beat him. I tried to be funny and did put my hand over me balls. Then he went all nuts. Could not handle it. He ended up telling me how many Poles, Podiums and World Championships he had. I was like what happened with him?

Häkkinen tallikaveristaan: Vitsi sai Sennan suuttumaan totaalisesti
 
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