Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I warned Kimi to stick with McLaren - Hakkinen

Jun.4 (GMM)

Double world champion Mika Hakkinen says he advisedcountryman Kimi Raikkonen to stick with McLaren rather than switch tothe Ferrari team. Hakkinen, who won back to back titles with RonDennis' Mercedes-powered outfit in 1998 and 1999, told the Finnishnewspaper 'Iltalehti' that he feared Raikkonen would struggle to adaptto the atmosphere at Ferrari. "I warned him that changing teams mightnot go well for him," the 38-year-old, whose McLaren seat in 2002 wasfilled by F1 newcomer Raikkonen, said. Hakkinen said: "Unfortunatelyfor Kimi, my forecasts are being fulfilled." Hakkinen stuck stoicallywith McLaren throughout the 90s, even through difficult times in thewake of Ayrton Senna's departure and the unsettled beginning of theMercedes-Benz period. But he said: "Winning the world championship islike a spider-web, which needs many threads, and time. "Of course itis true that McLaren's recent past had some problems, but it is a teamthat has always had the capacity to recover. "It is possible that Kimihas not measured the risks (of joining Ferrari) too well because itlooks like being a difficult year for him. "Also the McLaren car hasevolved a lot in the past races, and winning titles can depend a loton minor factors. "In this game there are many excellent drivers, soKimi cannot rely exclusively on his talent," Hakkinen said.

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