I know we all were a bit in a tizzy — rightfully — that Lewis Hamilton landed at No. 15 on the BBC’s countdown of Formula 1’s greatest drivers.
It isn’t that Lewis isn’t a great driver, but it seems a bit early to be judging him among the best. (Side note: Will we react similarly if Fernando Alonso is ranked among the top 13?)
Well, you Mika Hakkinen fans out there can rest comfortably: Your man is better than LewHam. Here’s the BBC:
Michael Schumacher says his toughest rival in his first career was Mika Hakkinen, which is quite a compliment from a man who also raced against Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and lost his final world championship battle to Fernando Alonso.
Schumacher’s respect for the famously monosyllabic, but searingly quick, Finn was never better illustrated than after the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix.
Hakkinen won the race thanks to one of the most brilliant overtaking manoeuvres ever seen in Formula 1, passing Schumacher’s Ferrari in a stunning display of bravery and audaciousness as they speared either side of a backmarker.
In the end, it didn’t matter how little he said, Hakkinen was the ultimate exponent of letting your driving do the talking.
When he finally got into a competitive car, he took 20 wins and 26 pole positions from his final 67 grands prix. He was, it is clear, one of the fastest drivers F1 has ever seen.
I’ve snipped out a lot, so go check out the rest. Warning: It is heavy with Schumacher references, for those of you who get queasy around him.
So… Mika at 14. Seem about right to you? Anyone want to argue it might be a tad low?