Hakkinen: Vettel's style closer to Schumacher than Hamilton

  • 02 Aug 2018 14:00
  • comments 2
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Double world champion Mika Hakkinen says that Sebastian Vettel's driving style is similar to Michael Schumacher's, while Lewis Hamilton's style is more "extreme". Hakkinen battled Schumacher for a number of years in the late nineties, which turned into one of Formula 1's greatest rivalries.

Hakkinen believes that Vettel's style is the closest to Schumacher's than anyone else on the grid. Vettel has often cited Schumacher as his hero, and Hakkinen thinks that the German learned a few tricks from the seven-time world champion before he retired.

"I first think of Sebastian's driving style as unique, but the similarities to Michael are there," the Finn told Speedweek. "He always braked at the same point, always drove the same line, accelerated very sensitively, everything controlled. It's a very good, clear, clean and aggressive driving style. Even over the curbs, he always has the car under control.

"Lewis always tries to drive a bit more extreme. Very controlled, but he pushes the car more to the limit and risks much more. But it is not careless, he makes conscious decisions. If he does not go off track, a super lap comes from his effort. You can take that risk, but not always, otherwise you'll spin sooner or later."

Earlier this week, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called the 2018 season a "marvellous advertisement" for Formula 1, as the fight at the front is so close. Hakkinen agrees, stating that a battle between two teams will pull F1 back into a more positive light.

"Ferrari is in a good position for the title, unless unpredictable things happen," he said. "Formula 1 has not been as exciting for a long time now. [Nico] Rosberg against Hamilton was anything but boring, but the number of fans was reduced by the duel within one team. Now Mercedes against Ferrari, plus the young talents like [Max] Verstappen – now it's exciting."

Replies (2)

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  • Oh yes certainly. They are very similar in many ways.

    • + 0
    • Aug 2 2018 - 17:36
    • I am not sure I see it. I'm not diminishing Vettel in any way. But I actually think based upon anecdotal observation Sebastian is more like Lewis than many would suppose. Sebastian takes a lot of risks (especially the last couple of years), spins, locks wheels, slides on corners, takes different lines. I think people conflate their personalities with their driving styles. Furthermore, both Lewis' and Sebastian's styles have evolved over time. Especially Lewis. I think he adapted his driving quite a bit during the dominant years and learned to go easy on his tyres. Anyway, I disagree with Mika. But Mika is still a freaking legend :)

      • + 0
      • Aug 2 2018 - 21:49

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