India needs Formula One for business: Former champion Mika Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen
Mika Hakkinen

Moscow, June 7 (IANS)

With motorsport's world governing body set to announce in September a provisional list of cities for the 2016 F-1 season, twice-crowned former world champion Mika Hakkinen says India needs the premier competition as it is a great platform for business.

“India needs Formula One as it is a great platform for business and a fantastic tool for connecting people,” the Finnish great, who retired from professional racing in 2001, told IANS in an interview here on the sidelines of a global conference on innovation.

Without wishing to comment on the circumstances that resulted in India being dropped for the 2014 and 2015 seasons - after staging the race for three seasons - Hakkinen, now an angel investor and brand ambassador for well-known names like Mercedes Benz, Johnny Walker and UBS financial services, expressed a keen desire to collaborate with India.

“What can I do for India, a great country with a massive amount of people and cars,” said Hakkinen, who has earlier been to New Delhi but not to the Gautam Buddh F-1 track in Greater Noida.

“The memories of my work, they make me a visible person and good at connecting people. All the connections over years are coming together now. I'm connecting people,” he said.

Dubbed the “Flying Finn”, the Formula One champion in 1998 and 1999 has been one of the few to beat German legend Michael Schumacher in a head-to-head championship contest.

“Business is like Formula One. Hundreds form a team to make for success,” Hakkinen said.

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