Top 5 moments of Mika Hakkinen's career
In racing parlance, the common saying is that there are drivers and then there are Finns. The Finns, cool or quiet that they may be, bring some sassiness to the sport that permeates the spirit of the racing contingent.
And to that regard, Mika Hakkinen brought a sort of level-headedness and control that few exhibited at the top annals of motor-racing.
26 poles, 25 fastest laps, 20 race wins culminating in 2 world championships, Mika Hakkinen competed with arguably the best man on the grid and that too, when he was at the peak of his form and fitness: Michael Schumacher.
By winning two world titles amid a time that was being defined by Michael Schumacher's reign, Mika Hakkinen proved that the Finns were no lame pushovers.
Long before Kimi Raikkonen exhibited the verve of cool and even before the likes of Bottas established themselves in Formula 1, Mika came, conquered and established his legend.
As the original Flying Finn turns 50, we look back at some of the best moments from his fascinating journey:
The move on Schumi at Spa-Francorchamps
Most drivers would remember Michael Schumacher as having dented so many of their race wins courtesy some super moves on the track. But Mika Hakkinen was a bloke who dented Schumacher's confidence and ultimately, his chances of prevailing at the end thanks to gorgeous overtaking moves of the kinds one saw at the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix.
In the 44-lap contest checkered over 6.968 kilometers, Mika unfurled a superlative move chasing Michael around the famous Eau-Rouge that, to this day is touted as being amongst the most awesome passes ever executed in the history of Formula 1.
In his testing pursuit of Michael Schumacher for the lead of the race, that he had lost initially having clinched the pole, Mika dived to the right of Schumacher going full throttle when it had seemed that the Finn might have countered Michael on the outside.
In making an express, late lunge on Lap 40 with just 4 more laps to go, Mika passed not one but two cars. And in so doing, overcame the indomitable Ferrari of the legend.