A near-fatal crash in 1995 during the Australian Grand Prix made Formula 1 champion Mika Pauli Häkkinen (1968-) reassess his pace of life. He was in a coma for a week, hospitalized for several weeks, and the experience made him learn to walk just a little bit slower.
"Something like that certainly opens your eyes and maybe I won't take so many risks in the car anymore," he said, returning to the track three months after the accident.
Häkkinen was born in Helsinki, Finland and began driving in the Grand Prix in 1991. He is known for his patience and keeping a tight reign on his emotions. An international reporter once compared Häkkinen's wooden personality to a desktop.
"People can be arrogant if they want to," he has said. "For me it's just not worth it."
One of the fastest drivers in the world, in 1998 and 1999, the Finnish driver won the F1 World Drivers Championship at the wheel of his silver West McLaren Mercedes. Hakkinen retired from Formula One racing in 2002 after winning 20 Grands Prix in 161 races during his 11-year career.
"The world championship certainly matters a lot, but there are also other important things in my life," "Hakka" said.