Honda F1 website

NOVEMBER 14, 2006

A real non-story you just have to read

Mika Hakkinen is NOT going to be making an Formula 1 comeback in 2007. The 38-year-old Finn visited McLaren headquarters in Woking the other day and spent some time trying out the team's racing simulator but according to McLaren chief executive Martin Whitmarsh that is far as it goes. Hakkinen, who is employed by Mercedes-Benz in the DTM, wanted to see if there was something he could contribute to help the team move forward. Hakkinen won two World Championships with McLaren in 1998 and 1999 but then announced that he was taking a sabbatical in 2003. In 2004 he had talks with Williams about a possible comeback with the team in 2005 but the team decided to go for a younger driver and so Hakkinen did a deal to race for Mercedes in DTM, where he has competed for the last two seasons. This year he finished sixth in the championship, the fourth of the Mercedes-Benx drivers. Earlier this year he drove a 2005 McLaren at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, which may have reminded him of F1.

It is expected that McLaren will soon confirm Lewis Hamilton as Fernando Alonso's team mate in 2007. To reduce media pressure on Hamilton it would be logical to do this around Christmas time.