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Dirk Johaes classic blog: Joyride with Mika Häkkinen

Dirk Johaes classic blog
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E in a white AMG-Mercedes shoots with a rumbling V8 Pit wall. At least now, the occasionally dry history event on the occasion of the Nardò world record run 30 years ago is turning into a pleasure trip. The C 63 from 2011 has a lot of smoke and Häkkinen lets it rise significantly. The 45-year-old lets the wheels of the high-performance sedan squeal and drives the four-door car across the bends.

It's my turn

Shortly before the pit lane, the Finn brakes the car and rolls to the exchange area: Now it's my turn. 'Well, which car did you like best so far?' He asks me. 'The Evo 1,' I answer briefly. He puts on his mischievous smile and probably wants to say: 'This is nothing compared to what you are about to experience.'

I was jealous

As we slowly roll out of the pit lane, I'm jealous of Häkkinen's passengers before. With them he started with spinning wheels. But outside on the track, it accelerates fully. “You know there's a sharp left turn coming down there?” He asks. I don't know, but I nod gently. 150 meters, Häkkinen drops anchor, turns in. 'Oijoijoi,' calls out Häkkinen. That is apparently Finnish and probably means: 'I misjudged something.' We're too fast and the AMG is pushing it to the outer edge of the bend.

Clean line?

But Mika Häkkinen does all on purpose. Clean line: who wants that? A Finn loves to drive sideways and to play with strength. No wonder: Häkkinen not only go karting in kindergarten. He also trained as an acrobat in a circus school. He brings both together here. 'Oijoijoi, ooooh,' I hear from the driver's side. The car slips back through the 180-degree left-hand bend towards the pit lane.

One more lap

lets you hook carry yourself far outwards. He's not going to turn already? No, he'll allow me a second round. He couldn't stop laughing when at the end of the straight he slid past the apex with even more daring and pushing the gas back into the desired direction. Acrobat Häkkinen is in his element. Last curve:'Oijoijoijoi - oops'. The stern almost overtook us. We are now standing across the direction of travel and Häkkinen has to laugh himself. Later he even gets a donut in the same place.

Applause, applause

I'm cheering on that Passenger seat. That was the best taxi ride of my life: with a Formula 1 world champion in his arena. Standing ovations for Mika.


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