At the start of the new millennium, Aki Hintsa opened the eyes of the F1 paddock to new dimensions of performance. Hintsa was not a driver or a designer. He had no prior connection to motorsport.
He was a doctor, and the potential he explored was not mechanical but human: the mind and body of the athlete in the cockpit.
In 1998 and 1999 he had been alongside Mika Hakkinen as his fellow Finn secured his two world titles at the expense of Michael Schumacher. Hakkinen knew of Hintsa's work with the Finnish Olympic team, and that Hintsa had spent time as a doctor and missionary in Ethiopia, where he had studied the success of the country's long-distance runners.