“I miss Micheal”, was the moving tribute from his great rival from yesteryear. In the late 1990s, Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher had some memorable battles on the Formula 1 track. The Finn had won two F1 world titles in 1998 and 1999. But 25 years later, the iconic McLaren driver is putting the rivalry aside to pay tribute to Michael Schumacher, whose state of health is still a cause for concern, nine years after his terrible skiing accident.
It is now nine years since Michael Schumacher was nearly killed in a skiing accident. Since then, his state of health has been one of the best kept secrets. But this has not stopped messages of support from flooding in from all over the world.
Keep fighting Michael
This was the case in Sweden last weekend at the Race of Champions, where a “Keep Fighting Michael” sign was held up by the drivers in the presence of the seven-time F1 world champion’s son (Mick) and his wife (Corinna).
Mika Häkkinen, one of Michael Schumacher’s greatest rivals during his career, was present at the event to represent Finland alongside Valtteri Bottas and paid tribute to the Red Baron.
“It’s really good to see Mick Schumacher here, his wife is here and it’s important that we continue to fight and go in this direction.
“And of course I miss him, because we had a great history in racing for many years, but when you have a family, life is different. If you are alone, everything is different.
“So I look at the situation from a general point of view and the one I miss the most is his family, who are going through the most difficult part,” said the two-time world champion in an interview with Mundo Deportivo.
Mika Häkkinen, who won the title in 1998 and 1999, fought hard against Michael Schumacher to win his world titles before the Ferrari driver’s hegemony, who won five consecutive titles from 2000 to 2004.
“I love it here”
In the rest of his interview, Mika Häkkinen also took the opportunity to look back at the Race of Champions:
“I like to be here with great talent and it’s very nice to be here with racers from the past and from the history of the sport, from different nationalities and not only for that, but because the racers have come here with their families and it’s nice to meet them and have a good time in the race and outside of the race, to have dinner together and to have fun.
“That’s the most important part. They are always racing and organising events like the Race of Champions is a good way to have a good time together.