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F1 Legends: Mika Hakkinen

Submitted by on July 22, 2015

Mika Hakkinen 1998

Image: Mika Hakkinen at the Nurburgring in 1998, thanks to the Cahier Archive

Enjoy a candid chat between Steve Rider and the Flying Finn, Mika Hakkinen, in his home town of Monaco about life, his career, Formula 1 and racing.

“I would say I was a very aggressive driver.. It was not really fighting against the clock. It was more or less just going around the corner as fast as possible. You had to be aggressive, you had to go flat out sideways all the time.”

The two-time Formula 1 World Champion began his career in karts, moving to Formula Ford and Formula Three until he picked up a drive with Lotus in Formula 1 in 1991.

From Lotus he went to McLaren for the 1993 season, where he was bumped to the position of test driver when the team hired Michael Andretti. Andretti had a rough run in Formula 1, and was out of his seat after the Italian Grand Prix, with Hakkinen taking over.

He picked up his first win in the final race of 1997 at Circuito Permanente de Jerez in the European Grand Prix. That win opened the taps for him and he went on to win eight races in 1998, including the Monaco Grand Prix, and take his first drivers’ title. He followed up in 1999, taking the championship with five wins and an extremely consistent season. 2000 saw him drop just one place, securing second in the drivers’ championship to a dominant Michael Schumacher.

Relaxed, conversational and fascinating, this episode of F1 Legends gives a great look back at an exciting Formula 1 champion.

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