Honda website
Honda website

MAY 6, 2001

Haug warns that Hakkinen must be watched

MERCEDES-BENZ motorsport director Norbert Haug has predicted that Mika Hakkinen will be involved in the title shake-up at the end of the season, despite his failings so far this year.

Hakkinen was set to end his drought with a win in Barcelona only to suffer last lap heartache, but Haug believes Hakkinen can still win the championship.

"Don't underestimate this guy," said Haug. "Remember the world championship decider is in Japan, everyone thought it was over and he fired back so he was excellent.

"You always should think the opposite of what people are saying and then you are right. We are positive, and it is a long way to go in the world championship."

McLaren's performance in Barcelona showed that the team are right back in it and, so Haug believes, they are back at the top.

"We showed we had the best package by far," said Haug. "I think the third placed car was already lapped without us pushing towards the end, and lapping means being on average a second quicker than the other guy."