Two men, one team, one apartment building, different generations. There are no racers whose lives and careers are quite crisscrossed other than Finnish racer Mika Häkkinen and German driver Nico Rosberg. Häkkinen and Rosberg reside in the same building in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, both sharing a common path in the field of top class grand prix racing under Mercedes-Benz.
Häkkinen, a 43-year old racing veteran, has earned the distinction of the being first Mercedes-Benz world champion of the modern era, winning two titles with McLaren Mercedes in 1998 and 1999. The 26-year old Rosberg was famed for coveting the first win for Mercedes GP’s Silver Arrow since Juan Manuel Fangio, in the third season of the return of the famed Formula One car just this year.
Rosberg practically grew up looking up on Häkkinen at a time when the former was just a young boy and the latter was working with Keke Rosberg. Keke Rosberg was the leader of Häkkinen’s management team and at the same time he is Nico Rosberg’s father! And it turned out Häkkinen was one of Nico’s sponsors in a go-karting event.
Häkkinen recalled that the first time he met Nico was when he visited Keke, and Nico was playing in his room. Nico, meanwhile, remembered the year as 1997, when he was an 11-year old boy vying for the French go-karting championship. Nico even recalled that he had a poster in his room with all his sponsors, and one of them was Häkkinen. Häkkinen jested that Nico should also start supporting his 11-year old son Hugo, just like he did with Nico 15 years ago.