McLaren would dispute such a remark as they insist their drivers are treated equally, but Hakkinen's insight cannot be discounted due to the fact he spent nine years with the Woking-based marque.
In many respects, Hakkinen was viewed as 'number one' at McLaren ahead of David Coulthard during his time with the team.
With Alonso out of the picture, Hakkinen sees Hamilton as the main man, and with that comes the burden of responsibility.
"Lewis has an interesting career in front of him at the moment, but he is living in a very extreme situation," remarked Hakkinen.
"He started his career at McLaren with a double world champion team-mate, and I'm sure he got a lot of good information from him.
"I'm sure Lewis learned a lot from him in terms of how to operate inside a team and how to set the car up.
"Now Lewis is in a situation where he is the leader of the team, and so he is under pressure to develop the car, make it fast and show he can get results for the team.
"The pressure is very high on him. He definitely has consistent talent and he can provide performance, but as I said, the pressure is part of the game and he could start making mistakes."
Hamilton certainly did that in Bahrain, but has bounced back, most notably in Turkey two weeks ago when he finished within touching distance of Felipe Massa, despite running a three-stop strategy.
Heading into Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix, the 23-year-old trails current leader and reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen by seven points.
After emerging strongest in practice yesterday, Hamilton is the likely favourite for victory.
If achieved, he would become only the fifth Briton to triumph at the Principality behind Stirling Moss, Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard.
Becoming a world champion is a different matter, as Hakkinen knows only too well as it took him seven years before winning the first of his back-to-back titles in 1998.
"To become a world champion is not easy, even when you have the right chassis, engine and team," reflected Hakkinen.
"You have to be ready to be a world champion, very clear in your mind, a little bit angry inside to be able to win it.
"In my grand prix career it took me quite a while before I won my first championship, quite a few years.
"You do need very good support and great management behind you, to help clear your mind through every test session and grand prix, to ensure you are fully focused.
"You need great confidence from the team to make sure you get the results, and to go on and win it in the end.
"Everything has to be in the right place, but it's a complicated process and you have to be patient because it can take a long time."
Hakkinen was speaking in his role as ambassador for the Johnnie Walker Responsible Drinking programme, with Hamilton aiding the cause.
After missing out on the world championship by a point last year, Hamilton is now fully aware of just how difficult it is to emerge with the title.
So when asked whether he could emulate Hakkinen's double feat, he replied: "My goal in life is to win a world championship.
"But I've not even got my first yet, so it would be a dream, an amazing accomplishment to emulate Mika.
"He has set a lot of records and come a long way, so it would be difficult to do what he has done, but I will try my best."