In an interview to Motorsport.com last month, Mika Hakkinen, former professional racing driver and Formula 1 World Champion in 1998 and 1999, revealed he is seriously considering returning to racing after sampling his 1998 title-winning McLaren at Suzuka. “I think it could be quite possible, quite easily, because I have the muscles for driving I’ve done driving for so many years,” he told our colleagues hinting at a possible comeback via historic racing. What better way to prepare yourself for a historical championship than a lap around the Laguna Seca Raceway behind the wheel of a McLaren F1 GTR?
And it’s not just any F1 GTR – it’s the very same car that won the “24 Hours of Le Mans” in 1995. It has a screaming 6.1-liter V12 engine under the hood with 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts), mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s chassis #01R.
Honestly, we were expecting more drama and smoking tires. But, of course, no one wants to destroy such an important piece of the automotive history and that’s clearly the reason why Mika is not pushing the race car to its limits. Still, the sound of that V12 beast is music to our ears and, without any exaggeration, we watched the video four times.
“I feel like a Le Mans winner,” Hakkinen commented after his run around one of the most challenging modern tracks in the world.
Hopefully, this run will inspire “the Flying Finn” to actually return to racing. His last race was in 2011 when he drove a Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in a six-hour International Le Mans Cup round in China. One thing we know for sure – if he ever makes a comeback, he will want to “win and kick some butt.”
Source: McLaren Automotive on YouTube