user icon

Hakkinen praises current pool of F1 talent

  • Published on 28 Dec 2017 17:48
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Mika Hakkinen is impressed by the level of talent that currently sits in F1, believing that it is among the best it has ever been. The double-world champion praised the likes of Lewis Hamilton, who won his fourth world title, and Max Verstappen, who once again showed his raw speed despite his young age.

Ferrari's resurgence brought back a race-winning Sebastian Vettel, while veteran Fernando Alonso proved that despite being in the latter stages of his F1 career, he still possesses speed. The Finn also celebrated young drivers such as Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon.

In his blog for Unibet, he wrote: "Lewis' achievement in winning four World Championship titles is impressive, and you can see that he has kept the hunger alive, that is critical. When I won both my World Championships in 1998 and 1999 I went into 2000 absolutely determined to win a third title, but it was not to be.

"After that year, when I felt my energy levels drop a little, it was not long before I retired. I was really delighted to see Valtteri win three Grands Prix. He is a strong, balanced guy, and the wins in Russia and Austria showed he is fully capable.

"He had some tough times in the middle part of the season, but I know how hard he has worked to get to where he is, and you can be sure he will use the off-season to build on everything he has learned.

"As I have said before, Max Verstappen was the standout driver of the season because he is so exciting to watch. Stoffel Vandoorne, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jr. are exciting to watch. When you consider that their team-mates Fernando Alonso, Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg are very quick, the driving talent in Formula 1 today is probably among the best it has ever been."

Hakkinen won his two world titles for McLaren and admits that he is looking forward to seeing how his former team will get on in 2018. The Woking-based squad will be equipped with Renault engines after ending its unsuccessful partnership with Honda.

"I am sure Mercedes will again be the team to beat, but Ferrari will build on what they learned this year and Red Bull Racing will be joined by McLaren in having a supply of Renault engines," he stated. "I know just how excited everyone at McLaren is to start a new chapter in its history, and there is huge determination to win again after a difficult few seasons.

"With the Renault team also likely to make progress, Honda trying hard to rebuild its reputation with Toro [Rosso] and Alfa Romeo supporting Sauber, there are plenty of reasons to look forward to Formula 1 in 2018."

Replies (3)

Login to reply
  • We spend so much time whining about the current state of affairs that we fail to see everything Hakkinen pointed out. Looking forward to 2018.

    • + 3
    • Dec 29 2017 - 02:27
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      I agree AJ. The last 2 seasons have been better. Last years drama was amazing, however we seems have gone back on the amount of overtaking. Hopefully the removal of the sharkfin will allow for more overtaking next year.

      • + 0
      • Dec 29 2017 - 11:45
    • I dont expect the sharkfin to affect the number of overtakes, the sharkfin didnt really contribute much to the drag, it was more helpful in stabilizing the cars in the corners. Thus, combiend with the extra weight from the halo, I suspect next year's cars will be harder to drive. I really liked 2016, and I wasnt susprised that overtakes went down from such a year to a new era. Just hope 2018 will be better.

      • + 0
      • Dec 29 2017 - 17:33

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Red Bull Racing
  • Points 1,293
  • Podiums 48
  • Grand Prix 126
  • Country NL
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (23)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), NL
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18
Italy
7 - May 9
Spain
20 - May 23
Monaco
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20
France
25 - Jun 27
Austria
2 - Jul 4
Austria
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1
Hungary
27 - Aug 29
Belgium
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12
Italy
24 - Sep 26
Russian
1 - Oct 3
Singapore
8 - Oct 10
Japan
22 - Oct 24
United States of America
29 - Oct 31
Mexico
5 - Nov 7
Brazil
19 - Nov 21
Australia
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28
16 - Apr 18
7 - May 9
20 - May 23
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29
3 - Sep 5
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26
Russian Sochi Autodrom
1 - Oct 3
8 - Oct 10
22 - Oct 24
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
29 - Oct 31
5 - Nov 7
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21
Australia Albert Park
3 - Dec 5
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar