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"It's a mind game" - Hakkinen and Vettel offer F1 advice to Davos business leaders

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"It's a mind game" - Hakkinen and Vettel offer F1 advice to Davos business leaders
Jan 21, 2016, 6:19 PM

Double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen reckons business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos can learn from his approach to t...

Double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen reckons business leaders attending the World Economic Forum in Davos can learn from his approach to the sport.

Hakkinen appeared on a panel with Sebastian Vettel, Susie Wolff and Dr Aki Hintsa, F1 doctor to the stars. Hakkinen, who won back-to-back F1 titles in 1998 and 1998 with McLaren, told the BBC that after spending a number of years without success when he first arrived in the sport, he used all his experience to focus on the finer details and prioritise quality over quantity.

The Finnish driver, who is in Davos with Hintsa Performance, a company founded by Hintsa that helps professionals in all walks of life achieve their peak performance, believes this approach could benefit business leaders. Vettel is a good example of how a driver can maximise his potential by following Hintsa's programme. He has also worked closely with Lewis Hamilton and many other top F1 drivers.

Susie Wolff

Hakkinen said: “I was in Formula 1 for ten years, winning a world championship twice. Yes I had some difficult years too, but all the years I was in Formula 1 I was learning more and more.

“One thing was very important – quality is important, not the quantity. So focus on details because those things make a difference.

“It is a mind game, it is a physical game and I believe that is exactly the same in business.

“It is a mind game; you need physical condition, so concentrate on quality, not quantity.”

Mika Hakkinen

Many of the most successful F1 drivers, including seven-times world champion and Hakkinen’s rival, Michael Schumacher, have been praised for their work ethic and attention to detail.

But Schumacher’s former Ferrari boss, and current FIA president, Jean Todt, explained at the recent Watkins lecture that although he believed that the German was a great leader, his methods were not unusual among F1 drivers.

Watkins Lecture

He said: “Michael was a great leader, a great motivator, a great personality, but he was coming to the factory very rarely.

“Of course he knew most of the people from the team, the test and racing team, but otherwise he was not visiting the workshop every week.

“It is not exceptional to honour people who you work with, so course every year we were celebrating at the end of the year. Honestly I don’t think it was something very special.

“I’m sure Hamilton, when he celebrated at Christmas, I’m sure he would do something for his team. I would not give special credit to [Schumacher].”

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 17.52.15

Aki Hintsa's Wellbeing App can be downloaded here

Mika Hakkinen

Do you think businesses can learn from F1 drivers? What do you reckon it takes to become a world champion? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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Series Formula 1
Tags innovation