Mika Häkkinen vs Kimi Räikkönen
29th April 2013, 15:27 at 3:27 pm #133068
I’ve noticed lately that many people here in Finland seem to appreciate Räikkönen more than Häkkinen. I don’t know how many of them are just Kimi-fans who never saw Häkkinen driving, but anyway I’d like to here some objective opinions about the matter. Which one of these two is the better Driver?29th April 2013, 16:06 at 4:06 pm #236177
I prefer Hakkinen29th April 2013, 16:06 at 4:06 pm #236178
Both were great, but Hakkinen was better29th April 2013, 16:15 at 4:15 pm #236179
I’ve always been a fan of both. Hakkinen was the driver I looked up to when I was growing up as a 5-8 year old, and Raikkonen I’ve liked ever since his first F1 race. Statistically the two are quite similar, 20 wins each, both could well have been three-time world champion, but Hakkinen had more poles yet Raikkonen has more fastest laps and podiums.
Both are remarkable. Hakkinen outqualified Senna in equal machinery in his first attempt, and is hugely respected by Schumacher. Raikkonen filled in Schumacher’s shoes at Ferrari and won the championship at the first attempt with the team while the two McLarens squabbled. The difference between the two is that Hakkinen spent a lot of years where the car was not really capable of much. He joined Lotus en route to the team closing and joined McLaren while they were struggling to replace the Honda engines. Raikkonen was different, he only spent one season in the midfield before being put in a car that was thereabouts behind the dominant Ferrari. Raikkonen was unlucky not to claim two titles in ’03 and ’05 (tyres (former) and reliability (latter) cost him massively) but still delivered plenty of fine wins. Hakkinen was also very unlucky with retiring whilst leading, in 1997 and in 2001. I do believe Kimi Raikkonen is one of the most naturally gifted drivers F1 has ever seen, but I feel Hakkinen worked harder and played the waiting game and got his rewards after finally fulfilling his potential. I do feel Hakkinen was one of the quickest in qualifying trim in those days, if not the quickest. Raikkonen has a notable qualifying weakness, especially last season. Though he seems to be getting on top of that in 2013. I feel Raikkonen will statistically be the greatest Finn by the time he retires (i.e. another title or two), and whether anybody can beat what he will achieve, who knows?
Then again, everything I’ve said is strictly not hugely relevant because they technically came from two different eras. They only raced together for one season, just as Raikkonen joined the sport and as Hakkinen was leaving. I have always wondered who was more respected in Finland though @diceman ! Do people speak highly of Keke Rosberg over there?29th April 2013, 17:02 at 5:02 pm #236180
@craig-o I don’t really know what people think about Rosberg here, since they rarely talk about him. It’s actually pretty hard to find good conversation about the history of F1 here, everyone is just talking about Räikkönen & other current drivers.29th April 2013, 17:09 at 5:09 pm #236181
the_sigmanParticipant29th April 2013, 17:45 at 5:45 pm #236182
Two of my favourite drivers of all time but I give the edge slightly to Raikkonen. The amount of bottle Hakkinen showed to even get back in an F1 car after Adelaide 1995, and then to become double world champion was astounding. But the only years where he performed at a truly world class level were 1998 and 2000. It is difficult to make a judgement really because he wasn’t in great cars up until 98 but I think Raikkonen has been consistently a stronger driver over his career, even though he has one world title less. 2008 works against Kimi to some degree, but then I don’t think Hakkinen was very impressive in 1999. Schumacher would have won at a canter if he hadn’t broken his leg. 2001 his heart clearly wasn’t in it any more so I give him the benefit of the doubt over that.29th April 2013, 17:47 at 5:47 pm #236183
that is the best song ever!. Well that… and this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfeyUGZt8nk&playnext=1&list=PL08A494D26C260BE629th April 2013, 18:06 at 6:06 pm #236184
Both are great drivers, but Hakkinen was slightly better IMO. It should be noted that Mika only had true championship winning machinery at his disposal from 1998-2000, and did the best job possible with it. He won the WDC two times consecutively and finished runner-up behind MSC in 2000.
Kimi had WDC winning cars in 2005, 2007, and 2008. He won ’07, his title loss in ’05 can be blamed on misfortunes and reliability, but in ’08 he really should’ve done much better than he did.29th April 2013, 19:14 at 7:14 pm #236185
I really shouldn’t be posting in this topic as I never saw Häkkinen racing and I’m a Kimi fanboy (in a rational way though).
From what I’ve heard Häkkinen was especially good in qualifying but maybe lacked a little bit in the pure race craft, wasn’t as aggressive as Räikkönen is/was. Kimi’s race craft is brilliant (might even be the best of current drivers) and I think his qualifying efforts are usually good enough (not on the level of Vettel and Hamilton maybe). Lotus times haven’t really changed this as it’s mostly been down to his driving style and qualities of the car that he hasn’t been able to get the maximum quali; also his rustiness in the first half of 2012 (after that he’s been beating Grosjean on more regular basis) caused some problems in quali. Back in the day he had some impressive qualifying efforts.
I’d have to say Kimi but they’re pretty equal… it’s impossible to really tell because they drove on different eras and different kind of grids. Something just makes me wanna say Kimi.29th April 2013, 20:17 at 8:17 pm #236186
Too close! But. I’ll go for Mika Hakkinen29th April 2013, 21:02 at 9:02 pm #236187
Häkkinen always gave 100%. Räikkönen’s motivation was sometimes questionable during the Ferrari years. Mika gets my vote.29th April 2013, 21:56 at 9:56 pm #236188
I think Raikkonen is the better driver, Hakkinen always seemed error-prone to me. That said, Hakkinen was a great guy, I miss his personality.29th April 2013, 22:11 at 10:11 pm #236189
Based on skill there is not much between them, maybe Raikkonen has more natural talent. But Häkkinen is my all-time favourite so…29th April 2013, 22:14 at 10:14 pm #236190
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