Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Cosy in the cockpit with a Formula One champ

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Mika and meMika Hakkinen has the air of a man who has seen it all before.

He stared death in the face when only an emergency trackside tracheotomy saved his life after a crash at the Australian Grand Prix.

He returned to Formula One to win the drivers’ title in 1998 and 1999. He enjoys homes in Monte Carlo, France and his native Finland.

And he is sitting on my knee.

Well, almost.

Terry Dolphin has been building, servicing and fine-tuning high-performance racing cars for 30 years. He paints this picture best.

“This is the same technology that won the World Championship in the mid-90s,” he smiles genially, glancing admiringly at the sleek, black Supercar baking in the Singapore sun while Hakkinen gets into his racing gear in a tent next door.

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