Hakkinen: title creates new pressure
|By Jonathan Noble||Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 10:33 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen can expect different pressures as a world champion next year, claims former title winner and compatriot Mika Hakkinen.
The Ferrari driver overhauled Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in the points table at the Brazilian Grand Prix to deliver his team their first championship since 2004.
But with his team boss Jean Todt claiming that Raikkonen will only get stronger now that he has won the championship, Hakkinen has warned that things may not necessarily be easier for him from now on.
"The pressure will be different," Hakkinen told autosport.com.
"His confidence will go higher. It changed me of course. It was great to be world champion and I worked many years to get into that situation and to be world champion for a second time.
"But I was already psychologically and mentally tired. That was so hard a second year and the decision came at the last Grand Prix again - which was too much. We'll see what happens to Kimi."
Hakkinen watched the Brazilian Grand Prix unfold in the McLaren garage and admitted to having mixed feelings about the result as it was a fellow Finn who triumphed in the end.
"The race started and with all the problems Lewis experienced in the race, obviously the feeling [in the garage] was really down," he said.
"There were still many laps to go and lots of things could still happen. But the speed was not enough to get the position Lewis needed to be world champion. Alonso's speed was not quick enough to put him in a situation to be champion.
"So it was disappointing and I was just disappointed because all the things that have been going on this year – with the penalties, the spy story, the political side – it's been really psychologically very hard for the team, all the mechanics, and the management. The whole team has been under so much pressure this year and during the race I just felt: 'this is not good, this is not justice'.
"And then Kimi won the race and the world championship, so I was happy to have a Finnish guy winning the world championship. I was very glad. It's great for Finland to get another world champion – it's a great feeling."