Dennis: Hakkinen and Coulthard Safe at McLaren
Saturday May 20th, 2000
McLaren boss Ron Dennis said on Saturday he had no plans to replace either of his team's drivers and quashed rumours that double world champion Mika Hakkinen was considering retirement.
"Mika has no intention of retiring whatsoever," Dennis told journalists after the qualifying session of the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Thee Finn achieved third position on the starting grid while teammate David Coulthard snatched pole position from championship leader Michael Schumacher.
Dennis said both his drivers performed excellently in changing weather conditions and added that their continuous improvement would keep their places safe in the team.
"If things continue as they are, I see no logic in changing either driver," Dennis said.
With the two drivers so close together in the points table, Dennis said the Mercedes-powered McLaren team would continue its policy of letting Coulthard and Hakkinen race against each other until one of them builds a decisive advantage.
"It will be quite a few races before one driver gets ahead," Dennis said.
After a disappointing start this season which saw rivals Ferrari win the first three races, Hakkinen trails Schumacher by 14 points and Coulthard is third with 20 points, two points behind the Finn.
Norbert Haug, the motor sports director of engine supplier Mercedes, said the German firm had no intention of supplying any other Formula One team with engines.
"In my personal view, McLaren Mercedes should be McLaren Mercedes and there should be no X-Mercedes in Formula One," Haug said.