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Mika Hakkinen and Ayrton Senna at McLaren. Picture taken from @Adelaide_GP on Twitter.

F1 Throwback: When Ayrton Senna 'went berserk and got really upset' with his new McLaren teammate

Two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen recalled the time Ayrton Senna went 'berserk' at the Finnish driver. The 'Flying Finn' shocked the world and his teammate Senna by outqualifying the three-time world champion on his debut at the Portuguese GP.

#OnThisDay in ’93 Mika Häkkinen (pic) drove his first #F1 GP for McLaren. He DNF’d on lap 33. But, the day before, he’d done something far more significant: he’d outqualified the great Ayrton Senna in the same car.

Hakkinen was undoubtedly a generational talent, having won the title twice in his long career in the sport. The Finn managed to stay ahead of the best, and on his debut managed to outperform his teammate and three-time champion Senna, who apparently reacted in a 'berserk' way to the news.

Hakkinen joined McLaren in 1993 and was immediately faster than Ayrton Senna, who was the 1991 world champion and was looking to take the title once again that year. The Finn's pace was apparently a tough pill for the Brazilian to swallow as the two nearly got into an altercation due to Hakkinen's comments after the qualifying event.

Speaking to Motorsport Magazine, Mika Hakkinen said of Ayrton Senna:

"Ayrton understood there were other fast drivers out there but when I came in and kicked his arse on my first race weekend he wanted to understand what I was doing. As a three-times world champion he was very mature, very confident, so he asked me, ‘Mika, what did you do?’ And I said, ‘Ayrton, it’s balls,’ and he went berserk, got really upset with me."


F1 pundit compares Max Verstappen to Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton

Former driver-turned-F1 TV pundit Karun Chandhok lauded Max Verstappen as a generational talent, comparing him to the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, and Ayrton Senna. The Dutchman secured his second consecutive title in the sport with four races remaining in 2022.

There is no denying Verstappen's raw pace and composed driving - the kind that has now won him two F1 titles in a row. After successfully defending his title against rivals Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, the Red Bull driver has joined the ranks of Fernando Alonso, Mika Hakkinen, and Jim Clark. Chandhok acknowledged Verstappen's dominance in 2022, claiming that his drives at Spa and Monza were highly impressive.

It was on this day in 1993 at the Estoril circuit when Mika Hakkinen replaced Michael Andretti for the Portuguese GP.

Mika in his first ever Qualifying with McLaren qualified 3rd in front of Ayrton Senna. Ayrton didn't know where it came from as the Finn made a stunning lap.

Chandhok praised Max Verstappen after the Dutchman secured his title in Suzuka, saying:

"I think we’ve seen a different Max. Think of those drives we saw at places like Spa and Monza where he was considered, he didn’t go for those half gaps that we saw him go for in the past for example, and he just picked his way through the field. And he won, they were equally as impressive as the wins he had like today, dominating from the front."

He added:

"And listen, he is a once-in-a-generation talent like Lewis [Hamilton], like Fernando, like Michael [Schumacher], like [Ayrton] Senna, he is, we’re seeing it."

Given Red Bull's reprimands this year, it will be interesting to see whether the Dutchman can secure yet another title in the sport.

Edited by
Anurag C
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