Mika Hakkinen will he get behind the wheel of Emerson Fittipaldi’s 1974 world championship-winning McLaren M23 at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on August 17-20. Hakkinen is filling in for Jenson Button, who was originally slated to drive the McLaren M23.
The Flying Finn drove 130 Grands Prix for the McLaren team between 1993 and 2001, winning 20 of them, and taking two Drivers’ World Championship titles (1998 and 1999). Hakkinen’s on-track battles against Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher have become part of Formula 1 folklore, and Hakkinen therefore endures as one of the sport’s most iconic, ironic, laconic and popular superstars.
“Though we were looking forward to having Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, we are delighted that a driver of Mika’s caliber is able to take his place,” said Gill Campbell, Senior Vice President of Event Operations at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement, and Mika will be able to showcase a car with great racing history during his spirited exhibition laps. Fans will surely enjoy the link between past and present during the exhibitions and throughout the event. Thank you to McLaren for making this happen.”
The McLaren-Ford M23 contested 80 grands prix between 1973 and 1978, winning 16 grands prix, two drivers’ championships and one constructors’ title.