The Finnish driver won the world title in 1998 and 1999 for McLaren Mercedes with him also taking the championship fight in 2000 down to the final couple of races against another potential candidate for the 'GOAT' tag; Michael Schumacher.
Hakkinen also raced in close quarters with Ayrton Senna as he partnered the great Brazilian in 1993, a year where Alain Prost won his fourth and final world title, so it's clear the Finn has got some authority when talking about some of the great drivers - ones he more than held his own against, it must be said.
In the modern era, Hamilton has done a stellar job of forcing himself into the conversation with him taking seven world titles and closing in on 100 Grand Prix victories with this year perhaps set to be his toughest for a long time as Max Verstappen and Red Bull take the fight to him.
If he wins an eighth crown, though, that could work wonders for him in the 'GOAT' debate and Hakkinen offered his thoughts on the topic via Sky Sports' YouTube channel:
Clearly, it could be the case that we only see where Hamilton ranks once he's retired from the sport and all his achievements are fully laid bare with him still hunting down some huge records in Formula 1.
It's a debate that can perhaps be never settled, though, given the variables involved between eras and cars but, nevertheless, it's still a fun one to be had.News Now - Sport News