Mika Häkkinen vs Michael Schumacher

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    I saw a topic about Prost-Senna, so I decided to make a topic about Schumacher-Hakkinen :) They were not teammates, so direct comparrison is not possible as in Prost -Senna case. But they were surely the best drivers in late 90s! If try to be objective, who of them is better?



    An objective analysis? 7 > 2.


    Max Jacobson

    Without a shadow of a doubt Schumacher. Some of his wet drives were absolutely staggering, and honestly I think the mid to late 90’s were his best years, not when he won 5 on the trot.



    Not really the same sort of question as Prost Senna given Schumacher is the better driver by an absolute landslide. Hakkinen had only two great seasons in his career, 1998 and 2000. Schumacher was great for nearly 15 years.



    Even as a big Häkkinen fan I have to admit that Schumi was much better. Häkkinen had clearly better car in 98, yet Schumacher came close to winning the title. In 99 Schumi had probably won it had he not got injuried, and in 2000 their cars were about equal, and Schumi won the title by 19 points. But they were both great drivers anyway, and on his best days Mika could beat Schumi in equal cars.


    Force Maikel

    I think the fact that Schumacher called Mika Hakinnen the driver he feared the most is all you need to know about these two.

    They were worthy adversaries. I think it is a pitty Hakinnen decided to retire after 2001, I think he could have made schumi’s storm to 7 titles a whole lot more difficult.


    Lucas Wilson

    Shumacher was the better of the two, but Mika pushed him all the way.



    In qualifying Häkkinen was a tad quicker, and a lot better under extreme pressure, whereas Schumis brain would lock itself down. Other than that, Schumi’s repertoire is much wider. So yes, all in all MSC > HAK, Msc much more of a complete driver. Hakkinen on the other hand was quicker on a single lap.

    Some similarities with the recent Alonso-Vettel rivalry.


    Max Jacobson

    I wouldn’t say they are that similar @il-ferrarista the two rivalries. Mainly because it was usually very clear that Schumacher was the more complete driver over the course of their respective careers, whereas that’s not the case with Alonso and Vettel: there the waters are much muddier.



    Yeah, it’s probably wrong of me to use the word *similar*, and I partly agree with you, but there were *similarities* nontheless :)


    Loup Garou

    IMO the comparison is a lot closer than what the statistics might suggest. Hakkinen did not do himself justice in the early part of his career for a variety of reasons. He was a calmer driver who could be exceptional on his day but perhaps lacked Schumacher’s focus and commitment. The German wins overall but not by much.



    Don’t forget Hakkinen didn’t exactly have race winning material until 1997. He would not have won a race in 1997, were it not for team orders, but Senna had to drag the 1993 McLaren to race wins, with Andretti barely scoring and Mika doing what he could. From 1994 to 1996 he drove unreliable cars that often weren’t all that fast too (still grabbed a lot of podiums in 1994, though) and in 1997 even the McLaren was a bit all over the place too.

    I think, had he not become a father by then and the retirement in the final lap of the Spanish Grand Prix had not happened, he would have been more of a challenge to Schumacher in 2001.

    They were 2 very different drivers, but perhaps not as different as Alonso-Vettel. Hakkinen might have made it look easy, but I don’t think he would ever call his 1999 season easy. Irvine staying in contention for the championship as long as he did and Salo nearly winning a race with it, is a testament to the F399’s performance, even if they’re good drivers, I wouldn’t rate either higher than Hakkinen or Coulthard.



    Häkkinen had clearly better car in 98, yet Schumacher came close to winning the title. In 99 Schumi had probably won it had he not got injuried, and in 2000 their cars were about equal, and Schumi won the title by 19 points.

    This, basically.

    Hakkinen was a good driver, but Schumacher was better. Both Mika and Michael were very fast over one lap, but Michael was a superior wheel to wheel racer, more consistent, and less error-prone. Also, unlike Schumacher, Hakkinen was sensitive to car changes and motivation dips.

    People might claim that Hakkinen was the more likable bloke, but Schumacher was undoubtedly the better driver. The 2000 F1 season proves it, both had equal cars, and Michael won the WDC by 108 points versus 89.



    In Motorsport Magazine Nigel ROebuck and the other old guys are praising Häkkinen so much that you would think he’s on level with a Senna. (…) But on the other hand, MotorsportMag and mr. ROebuck *hates* MSC – I have a thread here about that.

    But also – MSC has, after all, said that Hakkinen was his greatest rival. But is he counting in Alonso, montoya, senna and prost in, then ??



    I think he is very much counting Alonso, Montoya, his brother, DC, Villeneuve and Hill in, but he didn’t have a lot of time up against Prost and Senna for wins and championships. Schumacher also mentioned he thinks Hakkinen was his greatest rival because of the way they treated each other; hard racing on the track, but respect off the track.

    He kind of messed up his relationship with Hill by driving into him at Adelaide in 1994, but Hill took out Schumacher 3 times in 1995. There is a very nice double-interview in a F1 Racing of late 1998 or 1999 with them, so they patched up, but Hill spent a lot of time talking ill about Schumacher from 1995 on as well. Villeneuve also tried to make a career out of giving Schumacher a hard time after Jerez 1997, but mostly off-track and again that kinda was Schumacher’s own fault.

    Montoya also had a couple of run-ins with Schumacher on track and liked to talk a lot. DC and Schumacher had a pretty neutral relationship, but I’m sure DC at some point got a little wise to the press as well (France 2000; the infamous middle finger from DC to Schumacher) and of course Spa 1998 probably didn’t help that relationship either.

    He didn’t go up very long against Raikkonen and Alonso, but it’s pretty clear he didn’t want Massa to lose his seat to Raikkonen for 2007 and decided to leave (or was pressured out by LdM, depending on who you believe). He’s pretty vocal about supporting Vettel these days, so I don’t think he rates Alonso and Raikkonen exceptionally high.

    Schumacher fought Hakkinen in F3 as well, so there’s that as well. They got along off-track as well, but their respect for one another really shines through at Spa 2000; not only the move by Hakkinen, but the fact they talked about it in Parc Ferme, rather than through the press as well.

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