The McLaren Formula One team confirmed today that former driver and double world champion Mika Hakkinen will take up the position of Partner Ambassador in a multi-year deal with immediate effect.
The Flying Finn, 48, drove 130 Grands Prix for the McLaren team between 1993 and 2001, winning 20 of them, and taking two Drivers’ World Championship titles (in 1998 and ’99). Mika’s on-track battles against Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher have become part of Formula 1 folklore, and Mika therefore endures as one of the sport’s most iconic, ironic, laconic and popular superstars.
In his newly established role, Mika will sit alongside McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown and the staff of McLaren Marketing, working with established partners and exciting new business prospects alike. He will also work closely with McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt and his marketing team.
“I’ve always considered McLaren to be my home in Formula 1, and I still have an enormous place in my heart for everyone in the team. Of course, the past few years for McLaren haven’t been easy, but I’ve always believed that it’s only a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ McLaren will come good again – and I want to play my part in helping that happen,” Mika said.
“Returning to McLaren was an easy decision for me – I’ve never really lost contact, and I still know a lot of the hard-working men and women there from my eight-and-a-bit seasons with the team. “I’m also really looking forward to working with Zak, who owns one of my race-winning McLarens from 2001. We’ve spoken about how we can work together, and I can see that he’s putting in place the building blocks needed to help McLaren get back to the front. I’ll be collaborating closely with him during the exciting years ahead.
“Equally, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the exciting world of McLaren Automotive. I have a modern-day McLaren in my fleet of road cars, and it’s a truly superb machine. I firmly believe that McLaren makes the very best high-performance supercars in the world today.”