Mika Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen was the 1998 and 1999 Formula One World Champion. He is the only Finnish driver to win the championship more than once.

Mika Hakkinen celebrates winning the United States GP of 2001. (Image: Twitter)
By Niranjan Shivalkar | May 19, 2022 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Mika Pauli Häkkinen popularly known as “The Flying Finn”, is a Finnish former racing driver. He was the 1998 and 1999 Formula One World Champion, driving for McLaren. He is one of three Formula One drivers from Finland to win the World Championship, and is the only Finnish driver to win it more than once. Häkkinen was born in Helsingin maalaiskunta, Finland, on 28 September 1968 to Harri, a shortwave radio operator and a part-time taxi driver, and Aila Häkkinen, who worked as a secretary. He has one sister, Nina, who ran a fansite for her brother until its closure in 1998.

Häkkinen lived in the same street as Mika Salo with the two later becoming friends. As a child, Häkkinen played ice hockey and football. Häkkinen has resided in Monaco since 1991. He also owns properties in France and Finland. On 18 May 2008, his newly completed mansion in France was burned down after a light in one of his trophy cabinets short circuited. No injuries were reported, although Häkkinen’s collection of Formula One trophies was destroyed. Outside motorsport, Häkkinen enjoys skiing, swimming, tennis, scuba diving and jet skiing. His favourite music acts are Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and J. Karjalainen.

Mika Hakkinen before F1

Häkkinen began his career in karting at the age of five and achieved success by winning regional and national kart championships. He later won his first karting race in 1975 at the Keimola Motor Stadium where he raced in the regional karting championships in 1978 and 1979, winning the Keimola Club Championship in both years. Häkkinen found further success in 1980 when he won the Swedish Lapland Cup and finished fourth in the 85cc class of the Lapland Karting Championship. In 1981, Häkkinen won his first major karting title, the 85cc class of the Finnish Karting Championship. The following year, he finished runner-up in the 85cc class of the Formula Mini series.

In 1987, Häkkinen made the transition from karting to car racing when he purchased a 1986 Reynard Formula Ford 1600 from fellow Finn JJ Lehto. In that year, he entered the Finnish, Swedish and Nordic Formula Ford Championships, winning each title on his first attempt and won nine races combined. Going into 1989, Häkkinen moved from the Euroseries into the British Formula 3 Championship driving a Reynard 893 chassis for Dragon. He finished seventh position in the championship, scoring 18 points. In 1990, Häkkinen applied to become a member of the “Marlboro World Championship Team” through what was akin to a fully sponsored racing driver academy.

F1 Debut and Team

Häkkinen made his first test in a Formula One car with the Benetton team driving 90 laps around the Silverstone Circuit and set quicker lap times than regular driver Alessandro Nannini. He found it difficult to fit into the Benetton but liked the steering and throttle response. Häkkinen expected not to be offered a seat at Benetton and he decided to sign with the Lotus team for the 1991 season. Making his debut in the United States alongside teammate Julian Bailey, Häkkinen qualified thirteenth on the grid and suffered an engine failure on the sixtieth lap and was classified thirteenth.

Formula 1 Career Stats


Read more: ‘Lots of question marks’ surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 return: Mika Hakkinen

Mika Hakkinen Car number

11 was the first number used by future double World Champion Mika Hakkinen at Lotus in 1991. He used various other numbers like the number 3 and the number 1 in his career.

Mika Hakkinen Net Worth

According to the sources, Mika Hakkinen net worth is estimated around 30 million dollars. Hakkinen made most of his income during his Formula 1 career. After his retirement from the sport, he moved into driver management and even drove in the DTM series till 2007. The Finn was paid handsomely during his time at McLaren and during his Championship winning seasons.

Who is Mika Hakkinen’s Wife

Mika Hakkinen was previously married to Erja Hakkinen before parting ways with her in 2008. Erja is a Finnish television presenter, model and travel guide. Mika Häkkinen and Erja Honkanen met in the early 1990s. In 1998, the couple’s wedding was celebrated twice: on May 30, 1998, the couple married in Monaco , but the actual wedding party was held on June 13 in Porvoo. They have two children together Hugo and Aina-Julia.

Hakkinen met Marketa Remesova at a 2007 golf tournament in Cologne. It wasn’t long after that the two-time F1 World Champion invited her to move to Monaco. A former dancer, Marketa graduated as a fashion designer in 1996 in her home country and at her winter wonderland wedding in Rovaniemi to Mika in January 2017, she designed her wedding dress. That same year, she started her own label Nordic Angels and showcased at Monte Carlo Fashion Week.They have three children together Lynn Maria Häkkinen, Daniel Pauli Häkkinen, Ella Häkkinen.

Brand Endorsements

FAI Aviation Group
Artisans de Genève