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AUGUST 24, 2000

Hakkinen under no illusions

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP leader Mika Hakkinen is under no illusions about his chances of landing a third consecutive title this season, despite moving to the top of the drivers' standings in Hungary two weeks ago.

Speaking on the eve of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, the McLaren driver made it clear that his current run of form, which has produced two wins in the last four races in Austria and Hungary, was a great feat but he was sure it would not be simple to maintain his position.

"To keep ahead will be hard work and obviously the pressure is very high," said Hakkinen. "It is going to be tough and there is no point worrying about it.

"Leading the championship is fantastic, and I am very happy about it. It is going to be hard to stay there come the end of the season but I am enjoying it."

Hakkinen's resurgence in form has largely been down to several blistering starts the Finn has made. His McLaren team-mate David Coulthard, who is third in the championship, said he has been studying telemetry data to see how Hakkinen has been making his quick starts.

"Obviously my last couple of starts have not been good enough but I've looked at the data to see how Mika has done that," said Coulthard. "But it is one thing understanding how they are done, it is another actually being able to do it."