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Mika Hakkinen


Mika Pauli Hakkinen is aFinnish racing driver and two-time Formula One World Champion. When Hakkinen was five years old, his parents hired a go-kart for him to take to a track near their home. By 1986, Hakkinen had won five karting championships. 1982 World Champion Keke Rosberg helped Hakkinen by arranging him sponsorship that aided the Finn through the junior categories of open wheel racing. The "New Flying Finn", as his profile was known, won three Scandinavian championships, then in 1988 the Opel Lotus Euroseries championship before winning the 1990British Formula Three championship. Hakkinen joined Lotus in 1991 where he remained until 1992. Hakkinen joined McLaren as a test driver in 1993 initially as a backup for Ayrton Senna and took on the responsibility of race driver after Michael Andretti was dismissed by the team after that year's Italian Grand Prix. In 1994, he became the lead driver after Senna left to join Williams. He took his first victory at the 1997 European Grand Prix. Hakkinen won back to back titles in 1998–99 in battles with Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine respectively. In 2000, Hakkinen won 4 races but conceded the title to Schumacher with 2001 yielding two victories. After retiring from Formula One, Hakkinen drove in the DTM series, in which he won three races with Mercedes before announcing his retirement from competitive motorsport in 2007.    
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