TWO-TIME Formula One champion Mika Hakkinen is not used to seeing things whizz past him during his career.
But he made an exception during the opening of Hermes new parcel hub in Burtonwood which will see more than half a million parcels processed and speedily delivered every day.
The £14m site on Omega North has created 60 new jobs in the town and the Finnish driver said he had been very impressed during his visit.
He added: “The building looks amazing and will only get better once the second tier is built.
“The staff I have met today are all really happy which is really important and the number of people they are employing is a positive for the country and the area.”
The racing star’s relationship with Hermes started in 2005 with TV adverts in Germany.
Staff have also enjoyed track days with one of the world’s greatest F1 drivers as well as auctions for lessons with him.
He added: “I have been taking them round the track which is fun but it’s also about teaching road safety and educating them in extreme situations so they leave the event in a positive mind and much more understanding of the car.
“On the road the best people keep their distance and don’t go close to the other cars.
“I’m passionate about motor racing and this business is similar to Formula One in many ways as in both you have to be number one, you have to maintain the quality and keep up a good service and the speed.”
Known as a sporting star who often gave nothing away to the media during his career, Hakkinen added he had been kept busy in retirement with his role as brand ambassador and looking after his five children.
He said: “Life is obviously different than the Grand Prix but I’m having a good time and I do a very colourful combination of things now.
“It’s in my blood and I love racing but I’m realistic and I know I’ve had my time and it was a great time racing.
“If I do some racing now it has to be cars but not too fast so I can keep up!”