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Christopher Bruce2012-05-22 11:44:34

Häkkinen and Rosberg Discuss Their Past in Monaco

 
 
Slideshow
Häkkinen and Rosberg also drove around Monaco in an SLS convertible

Nico Rosberg and Mika Häkkinen have a longer relationship than you might expect. Rosberg's father, Keke, was Formula 1 World Champion in 1982. He was Häkkinen's manager. Nico first met Häkkinen in 1997 when he was 11 years old, and Häkkinen sponsored Rosberg in the French Karting Championship. 

“My son is eleven now. I’m sure I did a contract with Keke that one day, when Nico will win races and be world champion, he has to start supporting my son Hugo," said Häkkinen.

Häkkinen and Rosberg have had surprisingly similar careers. Both men had to wait seven seasons to have their first overall win. Häkkinen competed in 96 races and Rosberg took 111 races before their first win. 

“Your first victory in Formula One always feels like it is a long time coming. And especially in my case - but when it arrives, the feeling is just amazing. But problems are part of life, and winning or losing, they don’t disappear. You need to keep understanding the cause of disappointments and where you and the team can improve," said Häkkinen.

Häkkinen basically sees the driver and car as two separate elements. Not winning is not always the driver's fault. However, a driver has to always be at his or her best and keep improving because when you do have a car to win, do not be the element that causes the loss. He said that during those 96 races without a win he kept improving to be ready to win. 

“I had exactly the same feeling - Ross, all the guys, kept telling me that the win would come, I just needed to stay patient and take my opportunity. Of course, you get frustrated if it doesn’t go perfectly, but time takes that away and you keep going, follow the development, communicate constantly with the team," said Rosberg. 

Häkkinen and Rosberg both live in Monaco now. Rosberg grew up there.

Häkkinen and Rosberg both live in Monaco now. Rosberg grew up there.

© photo courtesy of: Mercedes

Rosberg and Häkkinen live surprising close to each other. Both own apartments in the same building in Monaco just a few floors from each other. Rosberg grew up in Monaco and went to school there. He took the famous tunnel to school everyday. 

Both men know Monaco well and, especially Rosberg, agree it is something of a home race. Many of the police are corner workers and other support crew during the race, and they recognize them when lapping the course. 

"What changed for me was that, when I got a car that I would win races with, Monaco became more important for some reason. When you are hunting pole position in Monaco, your mind changes; you put yourself in a higher power, even though you think you are doing it already. When you are fighting for P11 or P12, you always think you are doing your maximum. But when I started fighting for pole, it just happened that I was working even harder to reach my goal - but not purposely," said Rosberg.

Rosberg says that the team modifies the car for Monaco because aerodynamics is not as important. The car has more steering lock and the driver sits higher for better visibility. 

Häkkinen won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1998 and 1999. Rosberg is the first driver to win in a Mercedes-BenzMercedes-BenzGermany, 1924 > present197 models
9897 photos
33 videos
constructed car since Juan Manuel Fangio. 

Encyclopedia
Mercedes-BenzMercedes-Benz
W03W03
Engine
V 8 (90º vee)
Displacement
146 cu in
Top Speed
--
Transmission
7, semi-automatic
Maximum power
--
Type
Single Seater
Fuel
Petrol
Fuel consumption (combined)
--
price
--
annual ownership cost
--

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