|Formula 1 world championship|
|First start:||1991 USA Grand Prix|
|Last start:||2001 Japanese Grand Prix|
|1991-1992 Lotus • 1993-2001 McLaren|
|World Cup balance:||World Champion ( 1998 , 1999 )|
|World Cup points :||420|
|Leadership laps :||1,489 over 7,196.6 km|
Mika Pauli Häkkinen [ ˈmikɑ hækːinɛn ] (born September 28, 1968 in Vantaa ) is a former Finnish automobile racing driver . Between 1991 and 2001 he competed in 161 Grand Prix races in the top motorsport class, Formula 1, and won the world championship twice during this time. After a three-year break, Häkkinen made a comeback for Mercedes-Benz as a DTM driver in 2005 , before finally retiring at the end of 2007.
In Formula 1, Häkkinen is the most successful driver of the late 1990s, alongside his long-time rival Michael Schumacher . His manner, perceived by the public as reserved, always modest and friendly, makes him one of the most popular motorsport drivers, especially in Germany, to this day.
Beginnings in motorsport
Mika Häkkinen started his racing career in 1973 when he was five years old in karting. Two years later he won his first race. Since he was eleven years old, he won almost every kart championship in which he participated. In 1987 Häkkinen switched to the Formula Ford 1600 monoposto junior series , in which he won three titles in his first year: the Finnish , Swedish and Nordic Formula Ford 1600 Championship . The following year he won the Formula Opel Euroseries before moving to British Formula 3 in 1989 . In his first season, Häkkinen finished seventh in the final ranking. In 1990 he also secured the title in this category. At the international Formula 3 race of the same year in Macau , he met his future rival Michael Schumacher , the German Formula 3 champion , for the first time . The two dominated the action on the track until Häkkinen was eliminated shortly before the end in the fight for victory due to an accident with Schumacher. However, his services subsequently earned him a contract offer from the Lotus Formula 1 team , which Häkkinen accepted without hesitation.
In his debut race in Formula 1 at the 1991 US Grand Prix on the Phoenix Street Circuit in Phoenix , Arizona , Häkkinen retired with engine failure on his Lotus Judd . In fourteen other races he was able to achieve two championship points and thus finished 15th in the world championship. For the following season , his team switched to more powerful Ford engines. Häkkinen won eleven points and finished eighth at the end of the season. Since his manager, ex-Formula 1 world champion and compatriot Keke Rosberg , advised against driving another season in the underfunded Lotus team, Häkkinen switched to McLaren as a test driver , where he hoped for a future engagement as a regular driver .
After numerous test kilometers and two guest appearances in the Porsche Supercup , which he won, he replaced the American Michael Andretti from the 1993 Portuguese Grand Prix and drove faster than his teammate Ayrton Senna in the first qualifying . When asked by the three-time world champion, how on earth could Hakkinen drive so fast, he supposedly replied: "Balls, Ayrton, balls!" In his third race for McLaren, the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka , Häkkinen finished third. Senna left the team and Häkkinen rose to the hope of the British racing team.
Tough construction work and a serious accident
Senna's departure initially ushered in a low, because the switch to the powerful, but much too heavy and fragile Peugeot engines for the 1994 season turned out to be a mistake - even if Häkkinen achieved a few podium positions and fourth place in the World Championship. As victories were a long way off, team boss Ron Dennis was forced to switch engine partners again. The so-called “elephant wedding” with Mercedes-Benz was the result.
In 1995 and 1996 , McLaren failed to build a competitive chassis for the powerful Mercedes engines, and so Häkkinen achieved at most notable successes, such as second places at the 1995 Italian and Japanese Grand Prix . In practice for the last race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide , Häkkinen hit the tire wall and suffered serious head injuries. At the time it was not clear whether he would ever race again.
Breakthrough and first world championship
In 1996, Häkkinen returned recovered, drove again for McLaren and achieved better lap times than his team-mate David Coulthard . The 1997 season brought the breakthrough - both for Häkkinen and for the McLaren: Häkkinen achieved his first victory at the season finale, the European Grand Prix in Jerez, Spain , after falling out of the lead several times in the previous races.
Through extensive changes to the regulations (narrower track , grooved tires, etc.) for the 1998 season , McLaren was able to overtake the competition. At the season opener in Melbourne , Häkkinen and Coulthard took the first two positions. Häkkinen continued to dominate the season and was also superior to his team-mate. Competitor Ferrari with Michael Schumacher caught up continuously on the Silver Arrows, but could no longer thwart Hakkinen's title win.
Successful and failed title defense
In 1999 McLaren once again produced the fastest car in the field with the MP4 / 14 . Häkkinen thus qualified for pole position eleven times. While he had won eight races last year, he made it only five times this season. His title rival, Ferrari driver Schumacher, broke his right tibia and fibula in an accident at the Grand Prix of Great Britain in Silverstone and was out for six races. Now Häkkinen had to compete with Schumacher's team-mate Eddie Irvine , who was four points ahead of him one race before the end of the season. However , Häkkinen was able to win the final race in Suzuka, Japan, Irvine was third, with which the Finn won the world championship.
In the 2000 season , Häkkinen wanted to fight for the title again. This time, however, against the recovered Michael Schumacher. Schumacher had the better start to the season and won the first three races, while Häkkinen only finished second. Häkkinen caught up with his rival mid-season. At the Hungarian Grand Prix , five races to go, Häkkinen overtook the Ferrari driver in the World Cup and seemed to be heading for his third title in a row. The following three races turned into an open exchange of blows: Häkkinen won again in Belgium and thus extended his points lead. In this race, he also managed an overtaking maneuver that is counted among the most spectacular in Formula 1 when he left Michael Schumacher, who was in first place, and Ricardo Zonta, who had already been lapped, at the same time. In Italy , Schumacher won just ahead of Häkkinen. At the US Grand Prix , Häkkinen dropped out, while Schumacher won. With eight points behind the race in Japan , Häkkinen should have won to have a chance at the World Cup before the last race in Malaysia . However, Schumacher prevailed over his opponent and thus secured the world championship.
Motivation problems and end of career
The 2001 McLaren , the MP4-16 , was inferior to Ferrari. In addition, there were technical failures, which visibly impaired Häkkinen's motivation. Around the Monaco Grand Prix (as he later revealed), he decided to end his Formula 1 career, but waited until the summer to make the public announcement. At the Spanish Grand Prix he was leading his rival Schumacher with over 40 seconds with one lap to go. About two kilometers from the finish, however, the hydraulics of his McLaren failed and he had to park the car at the edge of the track. He won the race at Silverstone . Finally, he also won in Indianapolis to the US Grand Prix , ending his Formula 1 career. In total, he achieved 26 first places on the grid, 25 fastest race laps and 20 Grand Prix victories in 161 Formula 1 races and collected 420 World Championship points.
On November 29, 2006, after five years of abstinence, Häkkinen got into a Formula 1 car again: as part of the winter test program, his former McLaren team provided him with a vehicle. Team boss Ron Dennis immediately denied alleged comeback plans of his ex-driver.
On November 6, 2004, after a three year break from racing at the Stars and Cars event at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Stuttgart , Häkkinen announced that he would be participating in the DTM for Mercedes-Benz from the 2005 season . In his third race in Spa-Francorchamps , Belgium , he took pole position and also won. However, he did not repeat this performance consistently enough in the episode to get a chance at the championship. In his three years on this series, Häkkinen has always been one of the crowd's favorites and has been quite competitive. Nevertheless, in the end he did not prevail and therefore announced his retirement from active racing on November 3, 2007 - almost exactly three years after the announcement of his commitment.
At the DTM race in Barcelona on September 23, 2007 , Häkkinen was punished with the harshest penalty in the history of the racing series. The race stewards rated his maneuver against championship contender Martin Tomczyk in the Audi as gross unsporting behavior and imposed a fine of 22,000 euros on him. He was also moved back ten places on the grid for the following race. Häkkinen publicly stated that he felt that he was being treated unfairly and that such decisions by the race management would take away the fun of racing. In the press it was suspected that the resignation of the ex-world champion was related to this incident.
Häkkinen was married to Erja Honkanen (* 1961), a former Finnish TV journalist, from 1998 to 2008. The marriage has two children. On January 14, 2017, he married his long-time partner Marketa Kromatova and mother of his three other children in Rovaniemi. During his active career, Häkkinen had several advertising contracts with German companies, including Mercedes-Benz and Deutsche Telekom . Häkkinen's wife Erja was also often involved, which made her known to a wider audience in Germany. Thanks to the commercials, the Finn earned a lot of sympathy in Germany, although his toughest competitor at the time was the German Michael Schumacher . Häkkinen's exit from Formula 1 did not reduce his popularity in Germany either.
Hakkinen carries since the start of his career nicknamed "Flying Finn" ( Flying Finn ).
In the episode of the British motor TV show Top Gear on November 16, 2008, Häkkinen introduced James May - one of the presenters of the show - to the secrets of rallying in Finland. Häkkinen first drives a few laps on a race track in a Mercedes C63 AMG with May as co-driver, and then covers several kilometers on gravel in Finnish forests in a rally vehicle based on a Mercedes 190 .
Mika Häkkinen lives with his family in the Swiss canton of Thurgau .
Statistics in the Formula 1 World Championship
Grand Prix victories
|1991||Team Lotus||Lotus 102B||Judd 3.5 V8||15th||-||-||-||-||-||2||16.|
|1992||Team Lotus||Lotus 102D / 107||Ford 3.5 V8||15th||-||-||-||-||-||11||8th.|
|1993||Marlboro McLaren||McLaren MP4 / 8||Ford 3.5 V8||3||-||-||1||-||-||4th||15th|
|1994||Marlboro McLaren Peugeot||McLaren MP4 / 9||Peugeot 3.5 V10||15th||-||1||5||-||-||26th||4th|
|1995||Marlboro McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 10 / 10B / 10C||Mercedes 3.0 V10||15th||-||2||-||-||-||17th||7th|
|1996||Marlboro McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 11||Mercedes 3.0 V10||16||-||-||4th||-||-||31||5.|
|1997||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 12||Mercedes 3.0 V10||17th||1||-||2||1||1||27||6th|
|1998||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 13||Mercedes 3.0 V10||16||8th||2||1||9||6th||100||1.|
|1999||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 14||Mercedes 3.0 V10||16||5||2||3||11||6th||76||1.|
|2000||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4 / 15||Mercedes 3.0 V10||17th||4th||7th||-||5||9||89||2.|
|2001||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren MP4-16||Mercedes 3.0 V10||16||2||-||1||-||3||37||5.|
|green||-||Placement in the points|
|blue||-||Classified outside the point ranks|
|violet||DNF||Race not finished (did not finish)|
|red||DNQ||did not qualify|
|DNPQ||failed in pre-qualification (did not pre-qualify)|
|White||DNS||not at the start (did not start)|
|Light Blue||PO||only participated in the training (practiced only)|
|TD||Friday test driver|
|without||DNP||did not participate in the training (did not practice)|
|INJ||injured or sick|
|DNA||did not arrive|
|no participation in the World Cup|
|other||P / bold||Pole position|
|SR / italic||Fastest race lap|
|*||not at the finish,
but counted due to the distance covered
|underlined||Leader in the overall standings|
Statistics in the DTM
- Mika Hakkinen in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Biography of Mika Häkkinen on Who's Who Germany
- Race statistics from Mika Häkkinen at Driver Database
- "Häkkinen Festival in Munich" ( Spiegel Online on January 16, 2005)
- "Häkkinen is testing McLaren-Mercedes" (auto-motor-und-sport.de on November 29, 2006)
- "Häkkinen: It's time to stop" (Motorsport-total.com on November 3, 2007)
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Häkkinen, Mika Pauli|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Finnish racing driver|
|DATE OF BIRTH||September 28, 1968|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Vantaa , Finland|