Japanese GP McLaren race notes

The West McLaren Mercedes team finished the final race of the year by winning both the World Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. Mika Hakkinen claimed his 8th win of the season to clinch the Drivers' World Championship with David Coulthard...

The West McLaren Mercedes team finished the final race of the year by winning both the World Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. Mika Hakkinen claimed his 8th win of the season to clinch the Drivers' World Championship with David Coulthard in third position on today's podium giving him third place.

MIKA HAKKINEN 'This is a very special day for me. It has taken a while for me to win the Formula One World Championship, but now it has happened and I am very happy. The team as a whole achieved a lot this season and this is the perfect result for all of us.The two false starts meant that I had to keep focused despite the disruptions and I have to say that the team did a fantastic job to keep the car at its optimum. Of course the fact that Michael started from the back relieved the pressure a little bit, but I knew he would be quick and that he would carve his way through the field. The team kept me informed all the time of what was going on, which was good and meant that I could concentrate on the car, keep my head and stay cool. A great day for the whole team - thank you!'

DAVID COULTHARD 'I spun the wheels at the start which allowed Frentzen to get ahead of me. I needed to finish the race in order to gain points for the Constructors Championship and make sure that I was available to support Mika so I didn't attack Frentzen as much as I would have normally. However, the team kept me aware of where Michael was and I could measure my pace. I am pleased that Mika is World Champion and I believe that I have contributed to that result. I would just like to thank and congratulate everyone at McLaren and Mercedes both those at the track and those back at the factory.'

RON DENNIS 'A great day which has provided everyone both at the track and back at the factory the satisfaction that comes from success. The end of an arduous year which has seen the team maintain a calm approach. My sincere thanks to our engine Partner Mercedes, our Principal Partner West and Technology Partner Mobil. There are too many other contributors to mention but I hope they will accept my sincere thanks and appreciation.'

NORBERT HAUG 'Everybody did a great job and many thanks to the whole team. When we had a few technical problems in the middle of the season nobody gave up or became disheartened, everyone pushed even harder and I am particularly pleased for Mika, he could have won the title much earlier. David did a great job finishing third in the championship having lost lots of points due to three engine failures during the season. We try to make sure that this will not happen again next year. Today we achieved a memorable result in Mercedes-Benz Motorsport history.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard
Teams Mercedes , McLaren