Mika Hakkinen drove his title-winning McLaren MP4-13 at the Suzuka circuit 20 years after winning his first world championship in 1998.
Mika Hakkinen is one of the greatest F1 drivers to have ever graced this motorsport. He got a chance to take part in a gathering of historic F1 cars at the 30th Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka in 2018.
The Finnish driver has a great understanding of the circuit. He won his first championship defeating Michael Schumacher and securing the crucial 10 points for his first driver’s world championship.
Hakkinen got a chance to use his title-winning McLaren MP4-13 for the first time since he retired from racing altogether in 2002.
Mika Hakkinen on returning to a familiar circuit with lots of memories
The Finn returned to a familiar arena with all the memories rushing for a practice demo run on Friday. However, one thing which changed was the pit entry.
Describing the memories, Hakkinen stated: “It’s a fabulous race track, so many unbelievable memories. Winning a world championship here against Michael Schumacher.”
He further added: “Of course, it feels like yesterday, it’s logical because it’s such a strong memory. Moreover, You can imagine what it was like, particularly on this race track.”
An Emotional Mika Hakkinen compares F1 cars to the road ones
The two times World Champion praised Formula One cars and how it is unrealistic to compare them to road cars. He emphasized the heavy G-forces.
Hakkinen thanked his McLaren team for creating such a special car. He added: “I feel that the engineers of the McLaren team when they built that car for me, did brilliant teamwork.”
The always sarcastic and funny Finnish had a pretty emotional answer when asked if he would be driving an F1 car at such an old age. To which he answered: “No! That’s a really good one. I could never imagine, but I tell you what, it’s good to be here.”
— F1 in the 1990s 🚦🏎🏁🏆🍾 (@1990sF1) October 6, 2018