Hamilton and Verstappen warned of nasty consequences if they continue to take ‘very heavy risks’

Mikka Hakkinen suffered a horrendous accident at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.

Double world champion Mika Hakkinen notes that Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen lean heavily on the safety of modern Formula 1 cars, and that they might not race so aggressively were they to suffer a similar accident to Hakkinen himself in 1995.

The Finn was the subject of a tyre blowout in Adelaide that year during free practice, leading to a horrifying collision with the barrier.

He had superficial and internal injuries as a result, and was in critical condition immediately after the incident. The 53-year-old might well have lost his life were it not for an emergency tracheotomy performed by the side of the track.

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Verstappen and Hamilton went side by side on multiple occasions during their titanic title fight in 2021, notably involving themselves in nasty collisions in both Silverstone and Monza.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Portugal.v1

Further hostilities took place in Brazil and Saudi Arabia as the pair jostled for championship glory.

Hakkinen draws on his own experience to suggest that the approach last year’s championship protagonists took is not one he would subscribe to himself.

“Is it my style to do things that those two drivers did? Not really, it is not my style and that is because I had a very bad accident,” he said, as quoted by PA.

“I spent a lot of time in hospital and I know the pain when things go wrong.”

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The former McLaren driver emphasises that the Dutchman and the seven-time champion are not fully aware of just how horrifying a crash like Hakkinen’s can be, and therefore are not afraid to take excessive risks.

“These two drivers, they don’t know that, so they do take risks, very heavy risks, and they rely a lot on the safety of the car and the safety of the track,” he explained.

The Finn was speaking in an ambassadorial role with Laureus as they gear up for their World Sports Awards.

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After his dramatic maiden championship last season, Verstappen has been nominated for sportsman of the year alongside big names such as footballer Robert Lewandowski, tennis player Novak Djokovic, and recently retired American football player Tom Brady.

Mercedes, who sealed their record eighth constructors’ crown in 2021, are up for the team of the year award.

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