Video: When Häkkinen nearly beat Hamilton to an F1 seat

15th March 2023
Ben Miles

The existence of Fernando Alonso’s elongated F1 career has made the idea of an F1 champion from seven years ago returning to the cockpit seem like absolutely nothing. But back in 2006, the sight of Mika Häkkinen returning to a McLaren was enough to cause a frenzy.

Perhaps the better way to look at it is to remember that Mika had retired from F1 four years before this test (which took place in November 2006). Which is the equivalent of Jenson Button not only stepping back into an F1 car for a test, but coming very close to returning to full-time F1 racing.

Because, about a decade after this test happened, it emerged that that was indeed the situation – Häkkinen, it turned out, was in advanced talks for a 2007 return.

As it was, McLaren opted to give the drive to a kid called Hamilton. But here’s a video clip from that test, to remind us of the time when Häkkinen, in his famous white and blue striped helmet, so nearly returned to F1 in the McLaren MP4-21.

If that’s not enough, there’s also bonus Ferrari 248 F1 footage, in the hands of Goodwood regular Marc Gene. Whether or not you care about Häkkinen, the sight and sound of screaming V8 F1 cars is always worth a few minutes of your time.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Sidecar GP racing is terrifying ballet on wheels

  • F1

  • mclaren

  • Mika Häkkinen

  • F1 2006

  • f1 2007

  • Formula 1



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