Tuesday June 26th, 2001
McLaren boss Ron Dennis has stepped in to defend his driver Mika Hakkinen following the Finn's poor showing at the European Grand Prix last Sunday.
Hakkinen, enduring one of his worst seasons in Formula One having scored nine points in as many races, finished sixth one lap down at the Nurburgring after being outqualified by his teammate David Coulthard, who lies 35 points in front of him in the championship.
However, according to Dennis, Hakkinen was slowed down due to a problem with his tyres after locking his wheels during the initial part of the race, and the two-time champion is still on form.
"Mika had a massive lock-up into one of the chicanes and flat spotted one of the front tyres and really had a hard job thereafter with the vibrations in the first stint," Dennis told ITV.
"That really cost him a fourth place, not that we are here to come fourth. Mika was not off form at all. "