In 1994–2002, Mika Salo ran a total of 111 competitions in the royal class of motorsport.

Despite the fact that Salo never managed to air the victory of the F1 race, his career was colorful and memorable.

The 53-year-old Finn recalled his career on a recent Beyond The Grid podcast on F1.

From 1994 to 1998, Salo drove in the Lotus, Tyrrell and Arrows stables. For 1999, Salo was left without a team seat until he was able to run three races in the BAR team after the injury of Brazilian driver Ricardo Zonta.

However, Salo is best remembered in F1 circles from the end of the 1999 season, when he got to drive a Ferrari. Ferro was invited to Salo because Michael Schumacher broke his leg on July 11 at the UK GP.

In the 1999 season, Mika Salo (blonde hair) reached the top of Ferrari's bread. In the picture, he receives congratulations from Tommi Mäkinen, who won the World Rally Championship in the same year.

Photo: Sutton Motorsports / Zuma / MVPhotos

In the Beyond The Grid podcast, Salo says that he visited the British GP on the spot, but before the actual race he had already traveled to Finland. So Salo saw Schumacher’s accident on television.

After the injury of the German star, everything happened quickly.

- Jean Todt (then Ferrari's team manager) called me that "I want you to come to Maranello". I asked “when”. Todt replied “now”. I took the next flight, Salo recalls amused.

After Salo had traveled to Italy, Ferrari’s famous hometown, he was visibly hidden from the public eye. Ferrari did not want the appointment of Schumacher's replacement to slip into the public eye until the stable itself was ready for it.

- I hid in Jean Todt's apartment for a week. I wasn't allowed to go out. I went to the Ferrari factory - they took me there in some sort of van with tinted windows, Salo says of his confusing transfer to Ferrari bread.

The complexity of the situation was increased by the fact that in reality Salon had to be in Helsinki to prepare for his wedding. However, Salo got married. Salo and Japanese Noriko Endo were married on July 17, 1999. The couple divorced in 2015.

Salo (right) and Eddie Irvine from Northern Ireland were teammates for six races in the 1999 season after Michael Schumacher was injured.

Photo: Sutton Motorsports / Zuma / MVPhotos

Salo drove Ferrari in the red in the end to six races.

The most memorable was the Hockenheim race in Germany, which Salo led and would have won without the team order. However, the team told Salo to let Eddie Irvine pass, as Irvine fought for the championship against Mika Häkki.

In the podcast, Salo also says that he injured his back in the Toyota team tests so badly that it still plagues today.

Salo tested Toyota's F1 cars during 2001, and in 2002 Toyota began competing in the F1 series.

The last team in Mika Salon's (left) F1 career was Toyota. Next to the 2002 season, the second Toyota driver, Scottish Allan McNish.

Photo: Sutton Motorsports / Zuma / MVPhotos

- In fact, at the beginning of the test period (in 2001), I injured myself quite badly. I broke my back at three points, so I was on the sidelines for almost four months. Back injury is a nuisance even today. I have to stretch a lot and do something else so that I can get up in the mornings, Salo revealed.

After the end of his F1 career, Salo drove in the CART series and the FIA ​​GT series, among others. Salo has also worked as a TV commentator for F1 broadcasts and as a presenter of the Tuners program.

Of the current F1 drivers, Salo names Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as the best.