Nov.11 - 1998 and 1999 world champion Mika Hakkinen has embarked on a new career as a driver manager.

The 40-year-old Finn, who retired as a McLaren race driver in 2001, is now part of the Monaco based Aces Group, which is run by his own long-time manager Didier Coton.

Hakkinen will identify and develop new driving talents.

"From my own experience I understand what it takes to arrive at the top and how vital it is to a sportsman's career to have a close group of trusted professionals around him," he said.

Hakkinen's early career was supported strongly by 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, whose sister is married to Coton.

Coton also handled the F1 careers of Olivier Panis and Alex Wurz.