Newey compares Raikkonen and Hakkinen

Newey compares Raikkonen and Hakkinen

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey has compared Kimi Raikkonen favourably with Mika Hakkinen, saying the similarities go further than having a common nationality. McLaren snapped up Raikkonen to replace Hakkinen after being impressed with his...

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey has compared Kimi Raikkonen favourably with Mika Hakkinen, saying the similarities go further than having a common nationality. McLaren snapped up Raikkonen to replace Hakkinen after being impressed with his performance at Sauber in 2001; Newey said although they considered more experienced drivers, Raikkonen was viewed as the best investment for the future.

"We considered other drivers," Newey told F1 Racing magazine. "Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Olivier Panis and Alex Wurz were available, for example. I'm sure that any one of them would have been very satisfactory, but we judged Kimi the best long term prospect."

Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Raikkonen, like Hakkinen, is famously short with words but Newey believes their driving style also bears resemblance: "First, they both have extremely good car control," he explained. "Like Mika, Kimi can go barreling into a corner, confident that he'll be able to sort out any problems when he gets there. Other drivers have to gradually build up -- or down -- to a lap time."

"Kimi and Mika also have a similar way of reporting on a car's behaviour. It's economical in terms of vocabulary -- they don't waste words, let's put it that way! -- but the words they do use are very accurate. If Kimi makes a comment about the car, it's worth taking notice of that comment, just as it was with Mika. A seat-of-the-pants thing, I think."

Newey also said the two Finns had the same coolness under pressure: "They have the same inner strength too, an aloofness almost. They just don't get flustered by the pressures involved in driving a Formula 1 car -- or rather they seem to shrug off that pressure."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Kimi Raikkonen , Alexander Wurz , Adrian Newey
Teams Sauber , McLaren