Mika racing at Suzuka 10 Hours

On August 23-25, 2019 Mika has entered into the Intercontinental GT race at Suzuka, Japan. He will be driving a McLaren 720S GT3 in the 10 hour endurance race.

Mika, at 50 years old, will be back at the track where he won his first F1 world championship 21 years before. It will be his first competitive race since 2011.

He has maintained a relationship with McLaren, the company that he won two F1 world championships with, sometimes demonstrating F1 cars for the team.

Mika on his favourite moment in F1

Mika was interviewed in the McLaren motorhome and reflected on his time as a McLaren driver in Formula 1.

Of his 20 race wins in Formula 1, he said that his favourite was Monaco in 1998.  He said that celebrating the victory was a lot of fun.

He said that his favourite McLaren memory was winning the world championship. He felt that the trust and support the team had in him gave him the confidence to succeed. In terms of his championship winning cars, he stated that he felt more comfortable in the 1998 car than the 1999 car. He did however also note that he was never 100% happy with any of the cars he drove at McLaren.

Mika and Coulthard reflect on being teammates

A decade after retirement , Mika and David Coulthard got together to reminisce on their time as teammates in Formula 1.  The last time they were in competition together was in 2001.

David stated that Mika was his most challenging teammate and that his proudest moments were having won a race with Mika and Michael Schumacher on the podium with him.

Mika commented of his former rival that it was not easy to read Coulthard’s mind or understand his tactics or racing.  He mused that Coulthard was a very secretive person.

Mika retired from Formula 1

After taking the 2002 season out as a sabbatical, Mika announced that he was retiring from F1. He stated his reason as being that he wanted to spend more time with his family and did not want to hurt himself. In this respect he also referred to the serious accident he had in 1995.

Mika Hakkinen with Erja and Hugo

Mika Hakkinen with (then) wife Erja and son Hugo in 2002

For a few years Mika was the only real competition for Michael Schumacher. After that it was left to Ralf, Montoya, Raikonnen and then Alonso to pick up the gauntlet.