Hakkinen with a win back behind the wheel of a race car

Author of the article: , published on October 13, 2013.


Flying Finn Mika Hakkinen put on his racing gloves again and competed in a GT race in Zhuhai, China, where he shared a Mercedes SLS AMG with 17-year-old “apprentice” Matthew Solomon. The duo celebrated in the 50-minute GT Asia series race.

Hakkinen started the race in sixth place in the SLS with the starting number 36 and broke through to the second by the time he got out of the first turn. The two-time Formula One world champion drove into the pits during the safety car phase and handed the wheel to Solomon. After leaving the pits, he had a free path in front of him, so he quickly made up for the lag behind the then leading Earl Bamber.

Eight minutes before the end, Solomon took advantage of a small space and made his way past Bamber with a late brake. Solomon then led all the way to a historic first victory in AMG’s sports car program in China.

The achievement is also special for Hakkinen, who has further enriched his already varied international racing career. The former Formula One racer sat behind the wheel of a race car after almost two years, and this victory is his first since winning Mugello in the DTM series.

“I have to admit that I picked up Plan B at the start, but it worked out great,” Hakkinen said. “I totally focused on starting the race as I knew it was a good opportunity to break into the forefront. It was difficult to start well, and due to the high wings of these GT3 cars, it is also difficult to see the lights on the traffic light. I did a few tricks that worked!

Matthew did his job with all excellence. This race is very short, so you have to drive as fast as possible all the time and Matthew showed it nicely. We had a good race car, and the team did a good job, ”said Finec.

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