Veteran McLaren Dr. Aki Hintsa dies after losing battle with cancer

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Dr. Aki Hintsa, who played a key role with the McLaren Formula 1 team for more than a decade, has died at the age of 58.

Hintsa’s courage and relationship with the McLaren team – with two-time World Champion Mika Hakkinen and three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton in particular – came to define the Finn who transitioned into medicine.

He founded his own entity, Hintsa Performance, after transitioning from the world of competitive ice hockey, where he starred growing up.

A message from the Hintsa Performance website is below:

It is with deep sadness and sorrow that we announce the passing away of Dr. Aki Hintsa, the founder of Hintsa Performance. Aki passed away very peacefully surrounded by his whole family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Aki will be deeply missed by his family, friends, colleagues, clients and the numerous people around the world whose lives he has touched during the years.

We have now lost a very dear friend and colleague, a truly great man, whose impact in this world will be bigger than we even know today. Aki’s life-long mission to help people reach better life will now continue by his beloved colleagues.

We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.

16.11.2016, Jussi Räisänen.

McLaren released a touching tribute of its own. You can read it in its entirety here, but here’s a sampling:

“‘The Core’ is more than an autobiography, however. It is also a profoundly intelligent self-help book. In it Aki urges his readers to ask themselves the questions that most busy people never stop to consider. Who am I? What do I want from my life? Am I even in control of my own life? How can I improve the quality of my home life without compromising my professional life at the same time? How can I achieve inner and outer wellbeing, in other words?

“Doing that successfully is far from easy, but undoubtedly Aki achieved it. He was taken from us far too soon, aged just 58, but he packed more into his all-too-brief life than did many who lived almost twice as long. And, in so doing, he illuminated the lives of everyone he met, friendly and funny and kind and wise as he invariably was.”

Additionally, veteran F1 scribe Joe Saward offered a typically concise but insightful obituary here.

A number of people in the F1 world have expressed their condolences on social media:

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.