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Mika Hakkinen
Autosport Plus
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Mika Hakkinen: An F1 life in pictures

At the turn of the century Formula 1 became the Mika and Michael show as Mika Hakkinen claimed two world championships by going wheel-to-wheel with Michael Schumacher. Over a collection of images from his F1 career, the Flying Finn shares some cherished memories with MAURICE HAMILTON about his route to the top, annoying Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, and that overtake in Spa…

That was a super-interesting day. Winning a Formula 3 race in England gave me the opportunity to test the Benetton in 1990 on the Silverstone South Circuit. Inside my head I’m the best driver in the world, full of confidence. Everybody’s saying: “Be careful. It’s a Formula 1 car.” I’m thinking: ‘No way I’m careful!’

There’s a long straight with a super-fast right-hander at the end of it. Behind that corner is the paddock they use for the South Circuit. There’s just a barrier between you and the mechanics, who were watching. I did my installation lap and then I was coming down that straight, absolutely flat out; full power, because the car felt very good. I saw the mechanics starting to run away! They thought this crazy guy was going to crash into the paddock!

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