Hakkinen rejoins McLaren in partner ambassador role

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has rejoined the McLaren Formula 1 team in a ‘partner ambassador’ role, it has been announced.

The 48-year-old Finn, who competed in 130 grands prix with the Woking-based squad between 1993 and 2001, will work alongside executive director Zak Brown and the team’s marketing staff, dealing with partners.

Hakkinen, a world champion with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, will also work with McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt.

“I’ve always considered McLaren to be my home in Formula 1, and I still have an enormous place in my heart for everyone in the team,” said the Finn, a 20-time grand prix winner.

“Of course, the past few years for McLaren haven’t been easy, but I’ve always believed that it’s only a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ McLaren will come good again – and I want to play my part in helping that happen.

“Returning to McLaren was an easy decision for me – I’ve never really lost contact, and I still know a lot of the hard-working men and women there from my eight-and-a-bit seasons with the team.

“I’m also really looking forward to working with Zak, who owns one of my race-winning McLarens from 2001.

“We’ve spoken about how we can work together, and I can see that he’s putting in place the building blocks needed to help McLaren get back to the front.

“I’ll be collaborating closely with him during the exciting years ahead.”