JULY 14, 2004
The ghost of Mika Hakkinen
Mika Hakkinen retired from Formula 1 at the end of 2002 saying that he wanted to spend more time with his family and admitting that he did not want to take as many risks as previously, after a huge accident in Melbourne at the start of that year after his McLaren a suspension failure. At the time he said that he was taking a sabbatical and that he was still considering a return. Two years on Hakkinen is making noises that he would like to return although at 35 he is probably a little too old to be considered by some of the F1 teams. The problem for Hakkinen is that the team where he sepnt most of his career has no vacancies with Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya signed up for 2005 and 2006. The only option would bo to go into a new environment which would be very different to the sheltered world where he flourished in the late 1990s.
McLaren team bos Ron Dennis says that he has recently had a meeting with Hakkinen and that they had a long chat about a possible comeback.
"We discussed everything and both the discussion and the timing of any decision he might make is purely his," Dennis said. "He sought an opinion, I gave it, as a friend, and he went back to Finland to consider it."
The chances of Hakkinen landing a top drive again are small but it would not be impossible given that Niki Lauda went away from the sport for several year in the early 1980s and then returned to win another World Championship.
Hakkinen may decide he wants to come back but finds that there is no team interested in signing him up but you never know.
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