Monday March 12th, 2001
Mika Hakkinen has predicted that this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix will provide him with the perfect opportunity to get off the mark in the 2001 world championship.
Finnish driver Hakkinen was left battered, bruised and pointless after a high-speed crash on lap 26 of the first race of the season in Australia. It was a start he wants to forget in Kuala Lumpur.
"I'm focusing on securing my first points of the 2001 season and the whole team is optimistic that we will leave Malaysia with a good result," said Hakkinen.
"I enjoy driving at Sepang as it offers a good mixture of corners and fast straights, the only downside is the humidity, but as long as we maintain our fluid intake I can't see this being a problem.
"I left Australia on the Sunday after the race to go back and spend some time with my family and am now ready for round two."
Hakkinen's team-mate, David Coulthard, who finished second in Australia, is also optimistic about the Malaysian race.
"We are looking forward to building on and improving the result obtained at the previous race in Australia and will be working hard to achieve the desired outcome," said Coulthard.
"With the opportunities Sepang offers to overtake it should be an exciting race for both teams and the fans. I enjoyed a few days holiday in Australia and have done a lot of training to be in top shape for the hot and humid conditions in Malaysia."