Michael is the greatest, says Hakkinen


Although it was never at the same level as the rivalry between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, or indeed Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, the on-track battles between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher featured some iconic moments, the greatest (possibly) being Mika's superb move on the German, and a startled Ricardo Zonta, at Spa Francorchamps in 2000.

Now racing in DTM, Hakkinen has revealed that Schumacher was a great adversary, and that he regards the German not only as 'the greatest', but also doubts that anyone will ever come close to matching his achievements.

"I doubt if anyone will be able to repeat what he has done," the Finn told Gazzetta dello Sport. "Neither Alonso nor Raikkonen come close, Michael is the greatest."

Asked who he thought might assume the mantle of the sport's dominating force, following Schumacher's eventual retirement, Hakkinen said: "I don't think anyone will be able to. Before adding: "Kimi (Raikkonen) will sooner or later become World Champion.

"Michael has made his mark in Formula One for so long," he continued. "When I retired, he simply started winning non-stop."

Asked if he thought his former nemesis might follow him into DTM, the two-time F1 Champion said: "I don't think he'd enjoy it.

"He shouldn't even think about joining DTM," he added, "because if he was here, then we would all start fighting hard against each other. I hope it won't happen."

The Finn has also dismissed claims in the German media that he might be returning to F1 in 2006 with BMW, saying that he is "comfortable" where he is.

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Published: 08/08/2005
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