Mika Hakkinen’s son is continuing to speed ahead on the road to F1.
We reported a few years ago that the 1998 and 1999 world champion’s first son Hugo – who was born a year before Hakkinen retired in 2001 – had begun a competitive karting career. In a joint interview with Nico Rosberg, the now 43-year-old Finn Hakkinen told Bild am Sonntag newspaper: “It’s all about how the parents have educated their children.”
He and Rosberg, the son of 1982 world champion Keke, had been asked about sons of famous drivers racing through the junior ranks with plenty of money in tow.
“If the money is important then the parents are to blame,” Hakkinen said. “But parents can also make you hungry for success. I see that now with my son Hugo and what a hunger he has. He will drive 21 races in the Italian karting championship this year,” said the former McLaren driver.
German Rosberg, meanwhile – who finally broke through with his first grand prix win for Mercedes this season – recalled his own formative racing career, when Hakkinen was one of his very first sponsors.
Rosberg’s father Keke, the original ‘Flying Finn’, in those days handled Hakkinen’s career.
“How much money was it (the sponsorship) for?” Rosberg enquired of Hakkinen.
Hakkinen answered: “I think it was a set of tyres. So are you going to sponsor my son now?”
“We’ll talk about money later, ok?” Rosberg laughed.
Fascinatingly, Rosberg now shares the Mercedes team with Michael Schumacher, who was Hakkinen’s greatest challenger more than a decade ago.
“I had to push so hard to keep up,” Hakkinen recalled. “Nico, you have done incredibly, because you’ve beaten him. Now you have to keep your feet on the ground.
“Even one win is not anything, if you are then ranked seventh at the end of the championship.”