No quick fixes but a lifetime of results
Coaching legendary F1 driver Mika Häkkinen to two world championships and beyond
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.
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.