RISE OF THE ROOKIE: How Mika Hakkinen went from humble Helsinki beginnings to become F1’s Flying Finn
Mika Hakkinen fought hard from humble beginnings in Helsinki to become a two-time Formula 1 champion, taking the fight to Ferrari in 1998 and 1999...
According to McLaren boss Ron Dennis, he pulled off the "absolute pinnacle" of overtaking moves; team mate David Coulthard said he "hated" that he was faster. Hakkinen remains one of F1's most charismatic, talented and inimitable personalities.
The Flying Finn started out karting in Helsinki and quickly rose through the ranks, having been scouted by Benetton. He made his debut for Lotus then moved to McLaren, and in 1995 he survived a horrifying crash at Adelaide.
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But Hakkinen pushed on, and two years later, he would win his first Grand Prix with a rejuvenated McLaren team. In 1998 came a championship push and his maiden title, Michael Schumacher finishing second to the Finn. The second one came in the following season, but Schumacher fought back with Ferrari and dominated at the turn of the millennium.
Despite the German's fight back, Hakkinen executed what some deem the greatest overtake of all time on Schumacher in the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix, inspiring and exciting fans all over the world.
Take a look back at Hakkinen's journey with Aramco Presents: Rise of the Rookie in the video player above.