AUGUST 23, 2001
Signed, sealed, delivered at McLaren?
"I would not be on holiday at this moment if there was something unclear in Mika Hakkinen's agreement with McLaren," said Rosberg.
Whispers over a pay dispute during what has been an uninvolved season for the double world champion, Hakkinen has suggested that for the second consecutive season thoughts of retirement have entered his head - although he admitted that he wouldn't know what to do with himself if ever he were to hang up his driving gloves.
Jaguar Racing is thought to have been ready to leap in with a megabucks offer for the Finn if he couldn't commit to McLaren, although the prospect of seeing Hakkinen in anything other than a McLaren was a distant one, given his long service and close relationship to the team.
More likely he would have followed his manager's wheeltracks into the DTM after ending his top line racing days, but it seems that Hakkinen has been given enough financial incentive to try again - and that McLaren has every faith that his motivation won't dip again as it seeks to reclaim lost ground to Ferrari in 2002.