MARCH 13, 2001
Hakkinen keen to eradicate non-finish in Australia
MCLAREN driver Mika Hakkinen has highlighted his intention to banish the memory of a big crash an non-finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with a points-scoring finish in the second round in Malaysia this weekend.
Finnish driver Hakkinen crashed at high-speed on the 26th lap of the race in Australia as a front suspension failure sent him into a tire wall. As his team-mate David Coulthard finished second in the race, Hakkinen is already playing catch-up.
"I'm focusing on securing my first points of the 2001 season and the whole team is optimistic that we will leave Malaysia with a good result," said Hakkinen.
"I enjoy driving at Sepang as it offers a good mixture of corners and fast straights, the only downside is the humidity, but as long as we maintain our fluid intake I can't see this being a problem.
"I left Australia on the Sunday after the race to go back and spend some time with my family and am now ready for round two."
Coulthard, meanwhile, is also in a confident frame of mind as he hopes to add to the six points gained in Melbourne. The Scottish driver is excited by the prospect of a close race in Malaysia on a Sepang circuit that provides plenty of overtaking opportunities.
"We are looking forward to building on and improving the result obtained at the previous race in Australia and will be working hard to achieve the desired outcome," said Coulthard.
"With the opportunities Sepang offers to overtake it should be an exciting race for both teams and the fans. I enjoyed a few days holiday in Australia and have done a lot of training to be in top shape for the hot and humid conditions in Malaysia."