F1 drivers gather, Hakkinen shares safe driving tips with SMRT operators
- POSTED: 18 Sep 2013 21:05
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Two-time Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen shared his top tips for safe driving with SMRT operators and beneficiaries.
SINGAPORE: Taxi drivers probably clock more time on the road than most regular road users, so it takes someone special to tell these road warriors a thing or two about safe driving.
Two-time Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen, also known as the "Flying Finn", certainly fits the bill.
Transport operator SMRT -- in collaboration with Johnnie Walker -- invited Mr Hakkinen to give their operators and beneficiaries some tips on safe driving.
He even gave them an up close and personal display of his driving skills.
The collaboration will also see the operator offer 10-thousand kilometres worth of free rides to Singapore’s commuters during the period of the night race to encourage people not to drink and drive.
Those looking to take advantage of the free rides will each need to take a pledge to not drink and drive and those who do will then get a coupon allowing them to take the free ride.
The taxis involved in the campaign will be stationed at Clarke Quay and the Marina Bay Sands area.
Mr Hakkinen is Johnnie Walker's Global Responsible Drinking Ambassador. His key advice when it comes to safe driving is to watch the speed limit.
The Formula One champion has experienced his own fair share of scrapes. In 1995, he crashed during a practice session in Adelaide and could have died if not for an emergency tracheotomy.
For someone who is regularly over the speed limit, his top tip to drive safely is to slow down!
Mr Hakkinen said: "Safe driving obviously is very much about the speed. So if you do speeding and you don't respect the rules on the road, you will more likely have an accident. Keeping a distance from other cars always helps, and never drink and drive.”
SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek added: "If you are going to drink, take public transport home -- whether it's… the MRT or… the bus or… the taxi."
Mr Hakkinen was not the only F1 driver against drink driving.
McLaren's Sergio Perez also took time out from his preparations for this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix to drive home an important message on the dangers of drink driving.
The 23-year-old Mexican driver was on hand to attend Johnnie Walker's "Join The Pact" campaign -- a global campaign against drink driving -- at Clarke Quay on Wednesday evening.
He was joined by Mr Hakkinen for the ceremony.
The duo is part of the campaign's responsible drinking ambassadors, along with Singapore's own celebrities like actor Adrian Pang, DJ Rosalyn Lee and host Oli Pettigrew.
Reinforcing the importance of responsible drinking, Johnnie Walker announced its ambition to gather one million global commitments to never drink and drive via the unique hashtag #ImNOTdriving on social media.
Mr Perez said: “You can really lose your life while driving. And it is worse if you are a bit drunk so I think it is very important that we spread out the message for the people, for the young generations not to lose their life."
Also in Singapore for the night race is Finn Valtteri Bottas.
Dubbed the next big thing in Formula One, flashes of brilliance saw young Bottas score a promotion from reserve driver to Pastor Maldonado's teammate on the Williams team this season.
His high-point so far is qualifying third at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Despite not scoring a single point in his first season, Bottas has been content with Williams.
Another first for the 24-year-old is the tough night race in Singapore.
The Marina Bay Circuit is known to be one of the most demanding of the season, with heat often a crucial factor in the race.
But Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who is leaving the team at the end of this season, is hoping to finish with a bang at Singapore GP and follow up on his good outing in the last race at Monza.
Massa said: “A good race in Monza and hope we can have a better race here in Singapore. It's a fantastic place, great country, you know, and hope we can have a very nice night race here in Singapore.”
The Brazilian was at the launch of Ferrari's new showroom at Leng Kee Road in Singapore.
There has been much speculation about his future since the team announced he would be replaced by Finland's Kimi Raikkonen next season.
However, he declined to answer any questions about his future.