JUNE 26, 2001
Hakkinen has not lost the will to win
MIKA HAKKINEN has reiterated his desire to win Grands Prix as he bids to quash rumors that he could retire at the end of this season.
Stories circulating around the paddock at the Nurburgring last weekend suggested McLaren are in the process of negotiating new deals with Hakkinen and team-mate David Coulthard.
But rumors also surfaced that Hakkinen could be ready to reject a new deal and end his association with the sport at the end of this season. Hakkinen did not comment on the rumors but indicated he still has the desire to race.
"Maybe four races from now things can be completely different," said Hakkinen. "I can win, I know how to win. Our team definitely will get stronger and better in the future so I see no reason why I could not win races.
"But at the same time if the competitors are a bit more unfortunate in the races that opens the door for me to score points and four races from now things could be completely different."
Hakkinen has suffered a dismal start to the season and has just nine points to his name after a sixth place finish at the European Grand Prix on Sunday.
He added: "I have to believe in myself and the team and say of course I'm going to go to every Grand Prix and fight and try to win it. If in four races the things look very similar then I will say something different.
"It doesn't seem to be that much of a disaster. Simply because I have not had a great season behind me. Even last year it was a great year.
"After four or five races things started looking really good until Indianapolis, then everything fell apart just a couple of races before the end."
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