Mika Hakkinen, who is present at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, has yet to make a decision about his return to Formula One. Hakkinen announced last season that he would be taking a year's sabbatical from the sport in 2002 and many speculated...
Mika Hakkinen, who is present at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, has yet to make a decision about his return to Formula One. Hakkinen announced last season that he would be taking a year's sabbatical from the sport in 2002 and many speculated it was the end of his career. The Finn said he would drive for McLaren, of course, if he makes a come back.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said Hakkinen always had a contract with the team and it was up to him to decide on his future: "There was always a contract," Dennis explained. "It's just a decision that Mika takes and then we have to make a response. I feel like he's evading one of the primary questions, whether he's missing Formula One. We talked extensively last weekend and a little bit last night. Really, it's just excluded from the thought process. I feel that he's in a pretty tranquil place at the moment. He doesn't have to think about it, so he's not."
In the mean time Hakkinen has been enjoying following the F1 season although he was dubious about Ferrari's team orders decision in Austria.
"When I look at the situation I'm sure it was not anything good for Formula One, for Ferrari or the drivers of Ferrari," he said. "It's still fantastic and super exciting to see the grands prix. It started in quite an exciting way but then Ferrari started dominating the season. They've been very strong and it's taken a little bit of the excitement out of Formula One. But that's motor racing."
Hakkinen admits he misses racing but is happy to be spending time with his family: "I miss racing and winning but the thing I miss the most is the lots of good friends I have in the team. I am just trying to enjoy my life at the moment and doing a lot of travelling with the family. I am not running three times a week. I have put on a couple of kilos but I feel comfortable with that. But if I did come back then I would expect McLaren to give me a car."
That expectation could give McLaren a problem as the team has David Coulthard and Kimi Raikkonen already on board, so someone would have to face redundancy.