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McLaren > Mika Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen

Team McLaren
Date of Birth 28 September 1978
Nationality Finnish
Car Number 3
Marital Status Married
Personal Profile  

Mika Hakkinen entered the history books in 1999 when he became only the seventh man to win two back-to-back World Championships. However, it could have all been very different following a life-threatening accident in the 1995 Australian GP when the Finn fractured his skull.

The 32-year-old is entering his ninth season with McLaren, having made his Formula1 debut with Lotus in 1991. Following a second year with the Lotus, and some time as a McLaren test driver, he began racing with the Woking based team in 1993.

He waited a long time for his first win, which caused controversy as the team asked his partner David Coulthard to move over and allow the Finn to take victory in the 1997 European Grand Prix. This win gave Hakkinen the confidence boost he appeared to need and he went from strength to strength to become World Champion with eight race wins in 1998.

1999 was more of a struggle, despite Michael Schumacher being knocked out of contention at the British Grand Prix after he broke his leg in a first lap accident, and the Finn battled with Ferrari driver, Eddie Irvine, until the last race in Japan. However, his lightening-quick start and renowned cool under pressure saw him win the race and secure a second championship.

In 2000 he appeared to lose some focus and lost early ground to both Michael Schumacher and his team mate, Coulthard, through this and reliability problems. Hakkinen fought back, and took the lead in the championship standings after an impressive overtaking manouvre, which saw him pass Schumacher as they both lapped Ricardo Zonta by passing him on either side, at Spa. However, the German won the next four races in a row and the Finn's challenge was over.

The birth of his first child, Hugo, before Christmas lead to rumours that his motivation may suffer in 2001 but Hakkinen has denied them all and says he is ready to fight for his third championship win this season

Career Highlights
2000 Eighth season at McLaren, he wins four races and is runner-up in the drivers' championship.
1999

Stays with McLaren. Wins the World Championship for a second time with 5 wins and 76 points.

1998

Stays with McLaren. Wins drivers title with eight race wins, three other podium finishes and 100 championship points.

1997

Stays with McLaren. Wins his first race in the European Grand Prix and finishes sixth in the Drivers' Championship with three podium finishes in the bag.

1996

Stays with McLaren. Finishes third in Britain, Belgium, Italy and Japan to come fifth overall.

1995

Stays with McLaren. Finishes second in Italy and Japan. Season is marred by a bad smash in qualifying at the Australian GP.

1994 Stays with McLaren. One second place and five thirds win him 4th place overall.
1993 After being hired as a test driver, he makes his debut for McLaren and races in the last three GPs of the season, finishing third in Japan.
1992 Finishes 8th with eleven points in his second season with Lotus
1991 Makes his Grand Prix debut in the USA with Lotus, finishing 15th overall
1990 British Formula 3 Champion with West Surrey Racing
1989 British Formula 3 Championship: Finished 7th
1988 Opel Lotus Euroseries Champion, British GM Lotus Series runner-up
1987 Wins the Finnish, Swedish and Nordic Formula Ford 1600 titles.



 
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