JANUARY 2, 2001
Hakkinen old before his time
DOUBLE world champion Mika Hakkinen, along with German tennis legend Boris Becker, recently aged 50 years in order to film a German television commercial for Mercedes-Benz.
The pair spent two hours each day having make-up applied for the advert in which they are shown on a golf course in 2050, and Hakkinen took the opportunity to surprise his unsuspecting wife Erja.
"It was great fun," Hakkinen said. "Erja was with me when we made this movie. I spent two hours every day with the make-up artists. On the first day I woke up Erja, who was asleep. It was a bit of a shock when she saw the old man that had just kissed her."
Hakkinen, who drives for the Mercedes-Benz powered McLaren team, has made adverts for Mercedes-Benz before and is a popular figure in Germany.
"I am delighted to be so popular in Germany," the Finnish driver added. "I have good partners in Germany and the films we made were extremely good."
The commercial shows Becker and Hakkinen poking fun at each other while on the putting green. "Oooh that was close," Hakkinen sarcastically says as Becker misses an easy putt.
"Yeah, about as close as your race in the Suzuka 2000," Becker replies in reference to Hakkinen's loss of the championship to Michael Schumacher at Suzuka in October.
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