Mika Häkkinen continues in the 2006 DTM
This year, Mika Häkkinen, 37, came back from his retirement successfully and raced with Mercedes-Benz in the DTM. In the 2005 season's 11 championship races, he won his third DTM race at Spa, and achieved one pole position and three fastest race laps.
He qualified eight times for the Super Pole single-lap qualifying of the ten fastest drivers. He finished the season fifth overall as the third best Mercedes driver behind champion Gary Paffett and record winner Bernd Schneider in fourth place.
Mika Häkkinen had retired from Formula One at the end of the 2001 season. During his 10-year career, he had won 20 Grands Prix with Team McLaren Mercedes, achieved 26 Pole Positions, 25 fastest race laps and scored 420 World Championship points. In 1998 and 1999 he clinched the Drivers' titles and finished runner-up in 2000.
Mika Häkkinen: "I decided to extend my contract after only a short time of thinking. Mercedes-Benz and HWA are a fantastic team. From the very beginning, everybody sup-ported me very well and I felt really comfortable. Winning my third DTM race at Spa was the highlight of my season and I want to continue winning races next year."
"In my opinion, the DTM is the best touring car series in the world with close fights for every tenth of a second which I like a lot. As I know from many encounters in the paddock, the fans like it, too. There is no other top racing series offering the spectators such a big return on their money and I'm happy to be part of it again in 2006."
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "We are very happy that Mika will race again with an AMG-Mercedes C-Class in the DTM next year. After his comeback he got used to his new series quick and won his third race, held on such a challenging circuit like Spa-Francorchamps. We had always planned that Mika will stay in the DTM for more than one year, therefore it's great to get his confirmation."