Mika Hakkinen has rejoined McLaren as “Partner Ambassador” in a new role that will see him involved in marketing activities for both the F1 team and the sister road car manufacturer.
McLaren announced that 1998-99 World Champion Hakkinen “will sit alongside McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown and the staff of McLaren Marketing, working with established partners and exciting new business prospects alike. He will also work closely with McLaren Automotive Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt and his marketing team.”
The news means that the team has three former World Champions on the pay roll, with Fernando Alonso already joined by Jenson Button, who will also be undertaking PR and reserve driver duties.
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“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. “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.”