In the season opener at the Hockenheimring on 22nd April, Mika Hà¤kkinen, 38, will start into his third DTM season. In 2005, in his first year, Mika achieved his first DTM victory in the third race at Spa-Francorchamps. In the new DTM’s history, only one rookie won a race as early as the two-times Formula One World Champion from Finland. This was Jean Alesi, who made his DTM debut in 2002 after 201 Grand Prix starts. Mika also achieved one pole position and three fastest race laps during his first DTM year and ended that season fifth overall. Last year, Mika scored three podium finishes and two fastest laps and was sixth in the Drivers’ Championship.
Mika Hà¤kkinen had retired from Formula One at the end of the 2001 season. During his 11-year career, he had won 20 Grands Prix with Team McLaren Mercedes, achieved 26 Pole Positions, 25 fastest race laps and scored 420 World Championship points. In 1998 and 1999, he clinched the Drivers’ titles and finished runner-up in 2000.
Mika Hà¤kkinen: “It’s nice to continue being part of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport family further on. Everybody at Mercedes-Benz and HWA has supported me very much during the last two years, and I feel absolutely comfortable here. My results in 2006 don’t reflect our true potential and my target is to rectify that this year. However my three podium finishes and two fastest race lap times indicate that the speed is there and that I can fight for victories if everything runs without problems. I also want to show what I am capable of in the DTM. It is important for me to continue my long standing, successful partnership with Mercedes-Benz and to have a long-term prospect with them. In my view the DTM is the best touring car series in the world and I want to achieve the best results there. For this I will prepare myself intensively to create the best possible conditions as I ready myself for the start of the season.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “It’s good news from three view points, that Mika will continue in the DTM: First of all, he will strengthen our team and remain a great and worldwide well-known ambassador for our brand. Secondly, Mika’s continued involvement will boost the entire series and thirdly, Mika has been in the spotlight of all media and spectators interest since his first lap in the DTM. I am convinced that in 2007 his fans will see the best of Mika.”