Photo: McLaren-Honda F1 Team

Former F1 Champion Mika Hakkinen Returns to McLaren in Ambassador Role

By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief

McLaren announced the return of Mika Hakkinen to the team in a multi-year deal as a ‘partner ambassador’ role.

The two-time Formula 1 champion (1998-99) piloted 130 grand prix for the Woking-based outfit, scoring 20 wins.

The 48-year-old Finn competed nine years under McLaren and expressed his pleased he was to return to his “home.”

“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,” said Hakkinen.

“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.

“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.”

Hakkinen also expressed his excitement in working alongside Zak Brown, executive director of McLaren.

“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.”

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.