Motorsport Heroes: Hakkinen on his infamous clash with Schumacher

In Motorsport Heroes, the full-length feature film by Manish Pandey now available on, four legends of our sport share their successes, failures, personal struggles and life-threatening accidents. Today we hear from Mika Hakkinen, about the moment he clashed with Michael Schumacher in the 1990 Macau Grand Prix.

Macau is the biggest race of the Formula 3 calendar, and Hakkinen arrived as British champion, his Team Theodore-branded West Surrey Racing Ralt going up against Schumacher’s German Championship-winning WTS Racing Reynard. Hakkinen had already won the first heat, and only had to finish within 3s of Schumacher to take victory on aggregate in the second race.

Mika Hakkinen, Ralt RT34-Mugen leads Michael Schumacher, Reynard 903-Volkswagen

Photo by: Sutton Images

Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Hakkinen was clearly quicker than Schumacher in the closing stages, and was all over the German as the race entered its closing stages…

“What can I do? I have to overtake him,” says Hakkinen in the film. “But he was so slow, so I was running really close to him, catching the tow.”

“I moved to overtake and I could see his eyes in the mirror… [moves an imaginary steering wheel to the right] – Erk!”

After the race, Schumacher said in his post-race interview: “I knew [he was there], I see him in my mirrors. And then the whole time I see him in my mirrors, he closed up to me. And then he goes off the gas and he stays behind me.

“This time, he closed up and closed up, and I see it, so I go to the right side, at this moment he tries to overtake me. And he’s so quick at this moment that he couldn’t brake.”

Hakkinen rues: “Lost the whole race – terrible moment.”

Mika Hakkinen, Ralt RT34-Mugen leads Michael Schumacher, Reynard 903-Volkswagen

Photo by: Sutton Images

Race winner Michael Schumacher, Reynard 903-Volkswagen

Photo by: Sutton Images

Schumacher went on to win, minus his rear wing. But Hakkinen’s error wouldn’t harm his career trajectory, and he joined Formula 1 with Team Lotus at the start of the 1991 season, months before Schumacher would do likewise with Jordan and then Benetton.

Pandey, who wrote the multi award-winning Senna movie, the 111-minute film interweaves the narratives of our Motorsport Heroes, telling their stories with both archive and first-hand testimony.

To stream the full movie, subscribe to from $4.99/€4.50/£3.99 a month.

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