Motorsport fans will be in for a treat during Monterey Car Week with confirmation that Mika Häkkinen will be piloting Emerson Fittipaldi’s championship-winning McLaren M23 Formula One car.
Former McLaren driver Jenson Button was initially going to drive the M23, but The Flying Finn will take his place during the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 17-20 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
When competing between 1973 and 1978, the McLaren-Ford M20 took part in 80 races, winning 16 of them and claiming both the driver’s and constructor’s championships in 1974 and the driver’s championship in 1976.
Häkkinen also holds a formidable place in Formula One history having claimed two titles and retiring with 20 race victories.
In a statement, senior vice president of event operations at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Gill Campbell, said “Though we were looking forward to having Jenson Button at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, we are delighted that a driver of Mika’s caliber is able to take his place.
“Formula 1 is the pinnacle of racing advancement, and Mika will be able to showcase a car with great racing history during his spirited exhibition laps. Fans will surely enjoy the link between past and present during the exhibitions and throughout the event. Thank you to McLaren for making this happen.”