Double world champion Mika Hakkinen says he advised countryman Kimi Raikkonen to stick with McLaren rather than switch to the Ferrari team.
Hakkinen, who won back to back titles with Ron Dennis’ Mercedes-powered outfit in 1998 and 1999, told the Finnish newspaper ‘Iltalehti’ that he feared Raikkonen would struggle to adapt to the atmosphere at Ferrari.
“I warned him that changing teams might not go well for him,” the 38-year-old, whose McLaren seat in 2002 was filled by F1 newcomer Raikkonen, said.
Hakkinen said: “Unfortunately for Kimi, my forecasts are being fulfilled.”
Hakkinen stuck stoically with McLaren throughout the 90s, even through difficult times in the wake of Ayrton Senna’s departure and the unsettled beginning of the Mercedes-Benz period.
But he said: “Winning the world championship is like a spider-web, which needs many threads, and time.
“Of course it is true that McLaren’s recent past had some problems, but it is a team that has always had the capacity to recover.
“It is possible that Kimi has not measured the risks (of joining Ferrari) too well because it looks like being a difficult year for him.
“Also the McLaren car has evolved a lot in the past races, and winning titles can depend a lot on minor factors.
“In this game there are many excellent drivers, so Kimi cannot rely exclusively on his talent,” Hakkinen said.