Hakkinen: ‘If Lewis can keep cool the title is his’

F1 racing legend Mika Hakkinen has predicted that if Lewis Hamilton "can keep his head cool he should be able to win the championship fine".

Hakkinen, who was speaking to www.autosport.com, is better qualified than most to talk about the Brit’s title chances. The Finn became world champion in 1998 and retained his title the following year, retiring in 2001.

It was another Finn – Kimi Raikkonen – who thwarted Hamilton’s hopes of winning the championship at the first attempt last season.

And Raikkonen is less charitable talking about the 23-year-old Brit than fellow countryman Hakkinen is.

The Ferrari driver believes he could have won last Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix had it not been for the McLaren partnership of Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen.

Raikkonen overtook pole position-sitter Hamilton early in the race only for the championship leader to force him off the track while attempting an audacious move to restore his lead.

Raikkonen called the manoeuvre "an inexplicable mistake" which had "actually expelled me from the fight for victory at the Japanese GP".

"If I had managed to get unharmed through the first corner, I could have won," he claimed.

Written by James Christie

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