No quick fixes but a lifetime of results

Coaching legendary F1 driver Mika Häkkinen to two world championships and beyond

Mika Häkkinen is a former professional racing driver, who started his journey with us already back in 1997. After demanding years and a critical accident on the Adelaide circuit, he became the Formula One World Champion in 1998 and 1999 and has been ranked among the greatest drivers of all time. After a long racing career, he continues to use Hintsa’s methods while working in driver management and as a brand ambassador for various companies.
Starting point

Searching for flow without distractions

After several years of driving without reaching the peak position, Mika Häkkinen was looking to expand his network of professionals to ensure that he had the strongest possible support for his own work. Before each race, he wanted to get into a zone of perfect presence – a feeling of flow. That required the ability to focus totally on the present moment, not distracted by external worries.

As a family-minded man, Häkkinen often felt worried about his family’s wellbeing while he was away travelling. This thought was amplified after the accident in the Adelaide 1995 race when his car careened out of control at 200km/h and his head took a ferocious hit. Häkkinen was looking for a medical specialist he could trust, to support both himself and the people closest to him.

Solution

Medical advice and mentoring

Häkkinen’s rehabilitation after the Adelaide accident had been difficult. It seemed to him that if he was going to continue in his career, he would need to be in better shape in the future – a better athlete. Häkkinen’s team provided him with a professional condition trainer Mark Arnall with whom Dr Aki Hintsa worked to reach a more holistic approach. Hintsa didn’t intervene with training matters, but thanks to his large networks, Häkkinen’s team now consisted of experts from dozens of medical specialisations.

Dr Hintsa drew up a map of the medications that Mika would most likely need over the course of the year. If Häkkinen would develop symptoms, his trainer Arnall would call Hintsa and describe them; Hintsa would then outline a treatment plan and a suitable medication from the travel pharmacy. From his origins as a family doctor, Hintsa became for Häkkinen, not just a big brother figure and a friend, but also a pathfinder and a mentor. Eventually, the collaboration that started with Häkkinen, expanded to other drivers and entire teams.

Results

More focus and less stress

Aki Hintsa becoming Häkkinen’s doctor was a relief in itself. The driver’s concern for his family’s wellbeing was gone and he no longer felt worried before Grand Prix races. However, the work with Hintsa helped Mika not only during his athletic career but most importantly after he made the decision to step down from the podiums. Hintsa’s model helped Mika distribute his energy resources between his various tasks, social life and family.

He reports that thanks to the learnings from Hintsa, he has worked consciously to make his life simpler and less stressful. As a result, he has more energy for the things he truly wants to invest his time in. Using methods learned during his time as an athlete, he prepares for his life and the projects in it as he used to do for Grand Prix – for the longer distances, not just the short time trials.

“I’ve worked with the Hintsa team for nearly 20 years. My goals may have changed, but the principles stay the same; I’m aiming for a lifetime of high-performance.”

— Mika Häkkinen, Two-time Formula 1 World Champion

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