F1 legends David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen have been talking about their many years in F1, the comparative state of the sport and the McLaren team in their prime against the team’s struggles in recent years.
The original flying Finn Mika Hakkinen is a two-time Formula One World Champion with 20 wins to his name and David Coulthard is a 13-time race winner. Both drivers continue to offer great insight into the sport, particularly its evolution and direction.
Hakkinen makes the observation that,
“I feel that the current Formula One cars have incredible drive-ability in the engines. When we were racing, you had to get quite high-revs to get all of the maximum performance out of the engines.”
– Mika Hakkinen
Perfect example maximizing engine performance:
As a paddock pundit, DC in particular continues to be a vital point of logic amidst occasional sensationalism within Formula One. Following Hamilton’s comments after an engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix, he wrote,
“The notion that they would favour a pseudo-German driver (Finnish father, German mother, born in Germany, raised in Monaco) because they are apparently a ‘German team’ – remember they are actually based in Northamptonshire – does not make sense.
No amount of Nico winning this championship will make the same global impact as Lewis winning a fourth title. It will not take Nico to one third of the global recognition and media value that Lewis has. It just won’t. Even if Nico won four titles to Lewis’s three, it would not make him a more highly-prized asset.”
– David Coulthard
The point is that Formula One has to be about the drivers as much as the machines they are racing in. When both of these drivers were racing in F1, there was more room for expression.
Hakkinen and Coulthard worked as a great partnership for McLaren over seven years because they found a balancing point between respect and competitiveness, a recipe crucial to success.