For 2015, mclaren.com/formula1’s new monthly blogger will be double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen.
Mika won both of his world championships for McLaren – in 1998 and 1999. Along the way, he also notched up 20 Grand Prix victories – all for McLaren – and earned a reputation as the fastest, most respected driver of his generation.
Mika Hakkinen was – and is – a Grand Prix legend.
His monthly blog follows the series of very well received blogs written by 1974 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, which ran on mclaren.com/formula1 throughout 2013 and 2014.Mika, the famous ‘Flying Finn’, will be blogging on mclaren.com/formula1 throughout 2015, bringing to bear his extensive experience of operating flat-out behind the wheel of some of Formula 1’s fastest ever race cars (‘flat-out’ was always one of Mika’s favourite expressions). But, rather than adopting his famous ‘maximum attack’ approach to writing – because ‘maximum attack’ was another famously Mika-tastic phrase – he’ll instead be giving us a more considered and reflective take, choosing to take readers inside the cockpit with him in order to evoke and describe the experience and awe and thrill of being a world champion Grand Prix driver.
As 2015’s cars prepare to break cover at the end of the month, Mika’s first column for mclaren.com/formula1 highlights his thoughts, emotions and memories surrounding the process of testing, developing and understanding a brand-new Grand Prix car.
Here is an example, from the horse’s mouth:
“As I pushed the throttle to the correct rev limit for launch, then let the hand-clutch in, then tugged the steering wheel to the right, then drove down the pit-lane for the first time, I was using every nerve-ending in my body to monitor how the car was feeling.
“Driving fast is not about doing things quickly. No, it is about eliminating imperfections. And if your car is not neutral, or not stable, or not reliable, or, worst of all, if it is none of the above, then there is a limit to how successfully even a very fast driver is able to eliminate those imperfections.
“But if your car is neutral and stable and reliable, then you are able to analyse each lap as you drive it, and find a tenth under braking here and a tenth under acceleration there, and gradually drive faster and faster.
“You end up driving flat-out, in fact, but arriving at that flat-out state has been a systematic process, not a banzai rush, and there is no better feeling in the world than being in the cockpit of a Formula 1 car when you are achieving that.”