F1 News

Hakkinen realises: 'That made Schumacher the better of the two of us'

Hakkinen realises: 'That made Schumacher the better of the two of us'

11-09-2023 14:59 Last update: 16:09

Mika Hakkinen is known as one of the biggest challengers to seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. The Finn became a two-time world champion while Schumacher was in the build-up phase at Ferrari. Speaking to F1-Insider.com, Hakkinen talks about his rivalry with the former Ferrari driver.

As a driver for McLaren, Hakkinen was very successful. He became world champion in 1998 and 1999. After his Formula 1 career, the 20-time race winner drove in the DTM. He then became a driver manager.

Like many drivers have now, Schumacher and Hakkinen raced against each other in their youth. The Finn explains what he admired most about the German driver: "He was a pretty tough opponent, never left much space, and always defended extremely hard. There are so many aspects that I admire about him. The most important thing: He never let up. Giving up just wasn't in his vocabulary. I hope that this quality helps him today, too."

This made Schumacher better than Hakkinen

Yet Schumacher also drew the Finn's blood from under his nails at times. As an example, the two-time world champion gives the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix: "He pushed me onto the grass at 300 km/h. At that time, I told him to use his common sense. It's a matter of life and death at this rate! He just tilted his head to the side and looked at me questioningly. For him, it was racing. That made him the best of us in the end."