Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley says if Kimi Räikkönen “applied himself like a Lewis Hamilton, he could have gone on to win many World Championships”.
Marc Priestley worked as the Number Two mechanic for Kimi Räikkönen during his time with McLaren, and he was also with the team when Lewis Hamilton won his first world championship in 2008.
This means that he had a first-hand opportunity to witness how both drivers approached their driving and Formula 1 in general.
While Lewis went on to win six more world titles, Räikkönen – although a splendid driver – won only one in 2007, with Ferrari.
Priestley says the Finn could have achieved much more, had he “applied himself like a Lewis Hamilton”.
“Kimi was the fastest over a lap on his day,” Priestly said on the Pit Stop podcast.
“But Kimi was far from being the most complete Formula 1 driver. He won a World Championship, you can’t knock him, but he only won one.
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“And I firmly believe, and he had no desire to do this, but if he’d applied himself like a Lewis Hamilton, he could have gone on to win many World Championships.
“He had that amount of talent, whereas Lewis does apply, still to this day, still looking for every marginal gain, every little advantage you can.
“I think Fernando is exactly the same. They went about it in different ways those two, but I think Fernando and Lewis were the two that try to encompass everything to be the whole best Formula 1 driver, not just the bit behind the wheel.
“For Kimi, he loved being behind the wheel, everything else about Formula 1 he hated.
“He couldn’t stand it, he just wanted to drive,” the Briton concluded.