Hakkinen preparing for Lapland rally

Former McLaren F1 double-world champion Mika Hakkinen has been undergoing testing for his debut in the Arctic Lapland Rally this Friday and is trying to get as much experience as possible before the event. Driving the Mitsubishi Lancer in forests...

Former McLaren F1 double-world champion Mika Hakkinen has been undergoing testing for his debut in the Arctic Lapland Rally this Friday and is trying to get as much experience as possible before the event. Driving the Mitsubishi Lancer in forests around Rovaniemi, the Finn is getting used to direction from co-driver Arto Kapanen.

"These tests are to give me as much experience behind the wheel as possible," said Hakkinen, according to SportingLife. "I have to practice listening to the pace notes that Arto is reading to me, and learning about the car, but accurately judging the level of grip on the snow is not easy."

"This is a steep learning curve for me but I am enjoying the experience of driving the Mitsubishi. On the frozen lakes, where there was nothing to hit, it was a lot of fun, but in the forest you really have to concentrate because the trees are very close and you are travelling very fast."

"My confidence in Arto is there - he has so much experience co-driving, and the team is very professional having won the World Rally Championship so many times."

Hakkinen was back-to-back F1 world champion in 1998 and '99 but resigned from the sport officially in 2002 after taking a sabbatical year. The rally experience is a new one for the Finn but he said the Lapland event was a one-off for the moment, although future involvement would depend on his results next weekend.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Other rally
Drivers Mika Hakkinen
Teams McLaren