Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Hakkinen Suffers Austrian GP Nightmare

Sunday May 13th, 2001

Mika Hakkinen, todayMika Hakkinen's world championship hopes looked to have evaporated on Sunday after his McLaren stalled on the start grid at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The twice world champion's car had to be pushed clear after he, the Jordans of German Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli and the Sauber of Nick Heidfeld failed to get away at the start.

"We simply don't know what happened," Hakkinen said. "The team will investigate whether it was my mistake or a technical problem. I'm feeling very uncomfortable at the moment. As everyone could see the car just did not move."

Asked whether his bid for a third world title was over after six of the season's 17 races, Hakkinen admitted his prospects were not good.

"It doesn't look too promising," he said.

It was the second time this season that Hakkinen had stalled on the grid and he has just four points to his credit. He was also left stranded in Brazil. Hakkinen tried to rejoin the race but it was a doomed effort and he pulled into the pits and got out of the car.

The Finn won at the A1 Ring from pole position last year, leading home a McLaren one-two finish. But he had a nightmare qualifying session on Saturday with only the eighth fastest time.

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