Mika Pauli Häkkinen (Finnish: [ˈmikɑ ˈhækːinen] (About this soundlisten); born 28 September 1968), nicknamed "The Flying Finn", is a Finnish former racing driver. He was the 1998 and 1999 Formula One World Champion, driving for McLaren. Häkkinen is one of three Formula One drivers from Finland to win the World Championship, and is the only Finnish driver in history to win it on multiple occasions. Häkkinen currently works in driver management and is a brand ambassador for various companies.
Häkkinen began his career in karting at the age of five and achieved success by winning regional and national kart championships. He progressed to car racing when he entered the Formula Ford and Formula Three series in Italy and the United Kingdom. After success in the series, Häkkinen entered Formula One in 1991 with the Team Lotus where he remained until 1992. The following year, he moved to McLaren as test driver before he was promoted to the race team following the departure of Michael Andretti.
After four years which yielded minor success for Häkkinen, he scored his first Formula One victory in 1997. He went on to win eight races of the 1998 season, securing the World Drivers' Championship at the season-ending Japanese Grand Prix; his success also helped McLaren secure the World Constructors' Championship. Häkkinen repeated his World Championship success in 1999, taking five victories. He finished as runner-up in the Drivers' Championship in 2000, behind Michael Schumacher and secured two more victories in 2001 before announcing a sabbatical from the sport, which became full-time retirement in mid-2002.
Activity: 1991 - 2002 Grand Prix: 165 Drivers Championships: 2 (1998, 1999) Victories: 20 Podiums: 51 Pole Positions: 26 Fastest Laps: 25 Career Points: 420