DECEMBER 13, 2004
McLaren denies Hakkinen link
The McLaren team has denied rumours that Mika Hakkinen might be involved as a test driver with the team.
"We can confirm Mika Hakkinen's sole objective for 2005 is to achieve his goals in the DTM with Mercedes-Benz," a McLaren statement said. "No party from McLaren, Mercedes-Benz or Mika Hakkinen's management are involved in any talks with regard to our F1 programme."
This is odd given that our sources (and there were more than one of them) were adamant that the Finn is to be involved with the F1 testing programme. One could suggest, given the careful wording of the statement, that talks are now completed or that Mika Hakkinen has been talking directly to people from DaimlerChrysler about a deal. However, there are times when one can read too much into a statement and if one analyses the McLaren release one might conclude that no-one at McLaren nor Mercedes-Benz is involved in any talks about the F1 programme, which would make it very hard for any cars to be built in the time available!
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and time will tell whether or not Hakkinen pops up testing for the team.
We are quite happy to accept that we are wrong, but it is strange that such solid sourcing should be proved to have no grounding in reality. There is or was a story out there somewhere.
Incidentally, we hear that rising British star Jamie Green has recently signed a long-term contract to be involved with McLaren. We also hear that the team's longtime protege Lewis Hamilton has not agreed terms for a similar deal.
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