Hakkinen had a textbook title season in 1998. Wins, podiums, safe and sure dominance over his teamate and terrific qualifying. The only reason it was close was because of mechnical problems, Silverstone and Schumacher's overall exceptional driving - which is a credit to Hakkinen. Schumacher had some bad breaks as well, but it was not a season in which one contender suffered a disproportionate ammount of bad luck.
It does not compare to 1997. Villeneuve's season was riddled with inexplicably poor weekends and he was inconsistent all along the way. Big fat zeroes at Monaco, Montreal and Hockenheim; downright underwhelming driving at France, Spa and Monza. And Schumacher had a lot of off podium and low scoring weekends, there was plenty of room for Villeneuve to have had a much easier time.
There is no comparision.
What were Jacques poor weekends? France? He finished 4th. Hakkinen in the corresponding race finished 3rd in 1998. Both ironically had spins chasing Irvine. More similarities than you think.
What else? Monaco? Yep poor race, he followed Williams' call for the race and he and Frentzen went backwards. Germany? Italy? Yep... off the pace. But Williams were as a team, they weren't the fastest car there. It was really competitive. Whereas McLaren had the fastest car at EVERY race in 1998... also just on Hakkinens 'terrific qualifying in 1998' and 'safe and sure dominance over his teammate', what was Jacques in 1997 in those departments? Diabolical? Jesus lol.
In the end we ain't gonna agree with this. But I certainly think when you factor in JVs experience at the time plus the fact the grid was closer and more competitive than 1998, I think Jacques was every bit as impressive as Hakkinen in 98 and 99. I put much more emphasis on context... rather than comparing every little mistake.
Plus there was the Jerez finale. Jacques under pressure was something quite impressive and it was one for the ages. This debate might have been different had JV not wasted his prime years building a team and joined MH at McLaren but what can ya do.
Edited by PlayboyRacer, Yesterday, 22:53.