Saturday August 4th, 2001
Former World Champion Mika Hakkinen admitted today that he thinks about retiring from Formula One, however he said this was nothing extraordinary, claiming every Grand Prix driver has these thoughts.
"I think every driver, every year, thinks about retirement," said Hakkinen. "Formula One is racing, which means much more losing than winning, and so it comes to the point when you think to yourself 'I've had enough of travelling and driving these things.'
"It happens. It's happened to me and it's happened to a lot of other drivers. It's a normal thing, but still you look to the future and still you continue.
"But I know there will come a day, sooner or later, when I will quit. I've been in Formula One for 11 years now, which is a long time. I think a person will feel inside when he is ready to quit. I do think about it but I don't know yet when it will be."
Hakkinen says he is still in negotiations with McLaren for next year, saying the talks are "very positive". Asked, however, what he would do if he retired, the star Finn admitted nothing could replace driving an F1 car.
"When I do retire, finding a job to which I can relate, or is very similar to grand prix racing, is going to be very difficult," he said. "What I will do when I stop? That's extremely difficult to say. I'm not too comfortable about opening up on that at the moment."
Published at 15:14:54 GMT