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Famous Like Me > Racing driver > H > Mika Häkkinen

Profile of Mika Häkkinen on Famous Like Me

Name: Mika Häkkinen  
Also Know As: Pauli
Date of Birth: 28th September 1968
Place of Birth: Helsinki, Finland
Profession: Racing driver
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Mika Häkkinen
Nationality Finnish
Active years 1991 - 2001
Team(s) Lotus, McLaren
Race starts 165
Championships 2
Wins 20
Podium finishes 51
Pole positions 26
Fastest laps 25
First Grand Prix 1991 United States Grand Prix
First win 1997 European Grand Prix
Last win 2001 United States Grand Prix
Last Grand Prix 2001 Japanese Grand Prix


Mika Häkkinen at the 2000 United States Grand Prix

Mika Pauli Häkkinen (almost always seen and pronounced Hakkinen) (b. September 28, 1968) is a Finnish racing driver, two-time Formula One driver's champion. He is considered the only one able to challenge Michael Schumacher in recent years. Schumacher has also admitted this, and he has claimed that he very much enjoys racing against Häkkinen.

Born in Helsinki, Finland, like most champion racing drivers he raced karts from the age of 5, winning a succession of regional and national championships before transferring to full-sized machines. Gaining the attention of managers with a win in the British Formula 3 championship in 1990, he joined the Lotus F1 team in 1991.

Shifting to McLaren in 1993, he took up a position testing for the team. Michael Andretti left the sport after the Italian Grand Prix and Häkkinen was chosen to race alongside veteran Ayrton Senna. After Senna's departure from McLaren in 1994, Häkkinen became the team leader. He had a succession of mediocre (by McLaren's standards) results through the early 1990s and also a huge string of bad luck. In 1995 Häkkinen had a tyre failure at the Australian Grand Prix, which sent him into the wall at high speed. He was saved only due to an emergency tracheotomy that was performed by the side of the track. This incident forged a strong bond between Häkkinen and Ron Dennis, and also sent forth a new movement for extra safety in the sport. Then a new technical director, Adrian Newey who was known for designing the championship winning Williams-Renault cars, shifted to the team. This change came in conjunction to the teams signing for Mercedes engines in 1996. In 1997, Häkkinen's team-mate, David Coulthard won the season opener in Australia, as well as a close race in Italy. Häkkinen, however, struggled to find reliability, having three car failures while leading, one of those on his birthday. Vindication finally came at the last race of the season in Jerez, where Jacques Villeneuve let Häkkinen through to take the chequered flag. Häkkinen's morale, and the car improved during the off-season. He went on to win several more races in 1998, and finally clinched the world championship in 1998. 1999 was a far tougher year, the team again struggled for reliability, and the championship came down to McLaren and Ferrari. Schumacher broke his leg at the stowe corner at Silverstone, and his team-mate Eddie Irvine took over the offensive. The title battle went down to the last race at Suzuka, Japan. Häkkinen drove an almost flawless race to take the win, and the world championship. However, the constructors championship would be taken by Ferrari.

After struggling against the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher in 2000 and 2001, Häkkinen spent the 2002 season "on sabbatical", but announced his permanent retirement during the season.

Assessing Häkkinen's true talent against Schumacher's benchmark is, like any such comparison, quite difficult. Though they raced each other in the 1990 F3 championship, the differences between the two F1 cars more often than not dwarfs the difference in driver ability at this rarefied level. Whilst most judges rate Schumacher the superior driver, Häkkinen was certainly good enough to beat his highly-regarded teammate David Coulthard to win the championship when McLaren had the best car on the grid. Häkkinen's maiden grand prix win in the last race of the 1997 season courted some controversy as some believed Dennis and Frank Williams had done a deal to assist each other against Ferrari. In 1999 Schumacher sat out most of the season due to injuries.

In November 2004 it was announced Häkkinen would be driving for Mercedes in the German Touring car series (DTM) in 2005. Three races into the current DTM season, he lies joint second in the series, scoring his first win at Spa-Francorchamps.

Häkkinen is married to his wife Erja and has one son, Hugo, and a daughter, Aina. They currently reside in Monaco.


About Mika Häkkinen

Name Mika Pauli Häkkinen
Nicknames The Flying Finn, Iceman, Häkä (translates to "carbon monoxide")
Nationality Finnish
Birth Date 28 September, 1968
Age 37 (at 28 September, 2005)
Birth Place Martinlaakso, Vantaa, Helsinki, Finland
Racing Debut Finnish Karting, 1974
Height 179 cm
Weight 70 kg
Blood Group A RH+
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco (since 1991)
Marital Status Married to Erja Honkanen-Häkkinen (since 1998), one son (Hugo Ronan), one daughter (Aina Julia)
Father Harri
Mother Aila
Sister Nina
Eyes Blue
Hair Blond
Favourite Drink Water, Milk
Favourite Music J. Karjalainen, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson
Hobbies Driving, Skiing, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Scuba Diving
Manager Keijo "Keke" Rosberg

About his races

Victories in a Formula 1 Grand Prix

  • 1997: Europe
  • 1998: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Monaco, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, Japan
  • 1999: Brazil, Spain, Canada, Hungary, Japan
  • 2000: Spain, Austria, Hungary, Belgium
  • 2001: Great Britain, United States

Victories in a DTM race

  • 2005: Spa-Francorchamps

Pole Position (Formula 1)

  • 1997: Luxembourg
  • 1998: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Monaco, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Belgium
  • 1999: Australia, Brazil, San Marino, Monaco, Spain, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Belgium, Italy
  • 2000: Australia, Brazil, San Marino, Austria, Belgium

Pole Position (DTM)

  • 2005: Spa-Francorchamps

Fastest laps during a race (Formula 1)

  • 1997: Italy
  • 1998: Australia, Brazil, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Luxembourg
  • 1999: Brazil, Monaco, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, Europe
  • 2000: San Marino, Great Britain, Spain, Monaco, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Malaysia
  • 2001: Malaysia, Great Britain, Hungary

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Mika Häkkinen