Häkkinen enjoys Mercedes test outing
7 December 2011 – Double Formula 1 title-winner Mika Häkkinen got behind the wheel of the new Mercedes DTM challenger for a scheduled test in Southern Spain on Tuesday, completing a grand total of 109 laps at the Monteblanco circuit. Having last competed in the touring car category back in 2007, the Finn was delighted to make a return.
"First I’d like to say how happy I am that that I had this opportunity to try out the new DTM AMG Mercedes C Coupé in Monteblanco," Häkkinen, who won a total of 20 F1 races, explained. "It was a great feeling to be back together with the HWA team under Gerhard Ungar. It felt very natural for me to be involved in this test.
"The car has changed a lot from the way I remember it when I competed in the DTM. The wider tyres offer more grip, and the gearshift paddles on the steering wheel mean that you can use both hands to make the fine steering adjustments to stay on the perfect racing line."
Häkkinen also took a great deal of pleasure from being able to help the squad ahead of the 2012 campaign, revealing that he still feels physically fit and motivated.
"I am delighted that I was able to make some small contribution to the work being done by Mercedes-Benz and HWA on developing the new DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupé," he added. "I feel fit and motivated. What’s more, when I clambered out of the cockpit today, I had a broad smile on my face."