Over the course of more than a decade in Formula One, Mika Häkkinen won two drivers’ world championships, 20 races and scored 51 podiums. But he never got the chance to drive in America’s most challenging race tracks, as F1 didn’t race there.
That circuit is Laguna Seca, home to the infamous Corkscrew and the double-apex Andretti Hairpin. He finally got his chance recently, when he visited the circuit with McLaren, the team with which he won his two world championships, during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this past summer.
For his maiden foray at the legendary Californian circuit, Häkkinen drove no less impressive a machine than the McLaren M23 – the very car with which Emerson Fittipaldi won the 1974 world championship and the races at Interlagos in Brazil, Spa in Belgium, and Mosport in Canada. With Denny Hulme having won the Argentine Grand Prix in the second car, it was a spectacular year for McLaren, winning its first constructors’ championship as well.
Though it was considered in 1989, Laguna Seca never hosted an F1 race. So this represents a rare opportunity, and with the whole experience captured on video, you can ride along in the four-minute clip below.