Former Formula 1 driver Mika Hakkinen highlighted a factor he thought played a role in Lewis Hamilton’s massive success, and that was having great teammates.
Hamilton currently hold the record for most wins and pole in F1, 103 each, and shares the record of most F1 Titles – seven – with German great Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton started racing with McLaren back in 2007 finishing his first race on the podium, and won for the first time on his sixth race in top flight.
He finished his first season runner up and went on to win his maiden F1 Title in only his second season with McLaren in 2008 beating Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on the final lap of the final race in Brazil that season.
The Briton joined an exclusive club of F1 drivers who have more the 300 races under their belts on Sunday, as the 2022 French Grand Prix was the 300th time the Mercedes ace competed behind the wheel of an F1 car.
There is no doubt around Hamilton’s talent, but double F1 Champion Mika Hakkinen sited another factor that helped the former achieve such great success.
That’s what Hakkinen believes is behind Hamilton’s success, and said in an exclusive interview with Formula 1’s official website: “I think it’s the way it always has been.
“You know, to be able to be a winner requires a great team mate – having great team mates to get your success,” he added.
“A very important, key part. Sometimes it happens luckily; you cannot choose the team mate, but if you look at the list of team mates that Lewis had, very smart people, extremely great racing drivers, so all this combination, getting success, it has an effect.
“And Lewis knows that, you know, and because from my personal career, I had Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Martin Brundle, Mark Blundell, Johnny Herbert and, of course, David Coulthard,” the Finn pointed out. “A lot of great team mates, you know, but you need team mates, solid team mates, consistent team mates, smart guys who can communicate well with the team and engineers and develop the car. It’s a team [effort].”
“When I was a motor racing driver, I always respected my team mate; my team mate is my ally,” the 53-year-old revealed. “I can learn from my team mates. I can learn to be quicker than my team mates, if I’m not quicker automatically.
“But you can still learn a lot of things. Like I still learn a lot of things,” Hakkinen insisted.
Hamillton has shared F1 garages over the years with the likes of Fernando Alonso (a double champion), Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg (both one-time World Champions), as well as others like Valtteri Bottas, Heikki Kovalainen.
His latest and current teammate is Britain’s George Russell.