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Is it time Mika Hakkinen calls it a day ?  

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Rumours have been going around for a while that this could be Mika Hakkinen's last year in Formula 1. 

Mika Hakkinen who won the Drivers World Title twice in '98 and '99 and was runner-up in 2000 is having one of his worst seasons in Formula 1. He has failed to finish in 5 out of the 10 races so far - mainly due to the car's reliability - and has only scored 9 points from the 5 races that he managed to finish.
At the start of the season he seemed to have the upper hand in qualifying over his team-mate as he out-qualified David Coulthard in 4 of the first 5 races. Since then, he has been out-qualified by David Coulthard in every race.
Once considered the master in qualifying securing 11 poles in '99 and 5 poles last year, this year he has yet to start from pole position while his team-mate has already secured 2 poles this year equalling his own number of poles from the 2000 season.

Mika Hakkinen is not too old for Formula 1, he will turn 33 in September and still has a few years ahead of him (Alesi is 37 and Irvine is 35) however it does appear that he has lost a bit of his motivation and desire to remain at the top. That could be due to the lack of reliability of his car but it could also be due to other factors.

Next year the competition will be even stronger and McLaren appear to have already peaked and are now behind both Ferrari and Williams with Jordan and BAR close behind. It will be tough for any driver at McLaren to challenge for the title next year.

Should Mika Hakkinen quit Formula 1 ? Do you think he should stay ? Could he still win a 3rd World Title with McLaren ?Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

I'm no fan of McLaren team. But I enjoyed Mika as a contender. I don't deny that he's a good driver.
He should stay and make the F1 happening. Next season 2002, there's full of contenders to M. Schumacher i.e Ralf, DC, Montoya, Mika, (I won't surprise Mika Salo is included)

To be frank, I'm fan of the Ferrari team.
Down McLaren !!! - Ed - Malaysia

Hakkinen is a better driver than Schumi is not his fault that his car is not in order. keep on trucking Mika!!!!!!! - Terttu - USA

Hi there. I'm a strong supporter of the West-McLaren. I feel, Mika is a good driver. I don't think he should quit the F1. Chances of him winning has faded. He is not in the chance at all this season. this is because the reliability of his car which has given a lot of problem's lately. He's good and Schuey is no where compared to him at all. I've got a strong feeling that Mika will win the 3rd world title with the McLaren's. It all depends on the team it self. Go Mika you can do it

True die heart fan - Vivek G - Malaysia

Why should he quit. Its just like Michael in 1996 as he just joined Ferrari he had a shit house of a season, but he kept it cool and look a championship with Ferrari and most definitely a second.  Don't give up just yet leave McLaren and bring Jordan or Benetton to championship success - Chris - Australia

Something has to be fixed with McLaren as a Team, not with Mika. Mika is still a great driver. He still has chance for few years in F1. I would love to imagine if Mika and M Schummy are in one team with equal cars & opportunity - Wayan - Bali - Indonesia

Don't forget he now has a family and priorities change. If he has lost the motivation, he must move on.  There are plenty of young hopefuls on their way up.  Mark Webber for instance.  High time we saw an Aussie in the fray - Angela W - Cairns - Australia

Much as I would love to see Mika carry on for a few more years, I think someone is trying to tell him something this season, so maybe he should get out.
 I couldn't believe what happened if France, I was there, just waiting for him to go for it after being fastest in morning practise - Brenda W - England

Take your bat and ball and bugger of Mika.  At least DC is still trying and always in the points - Christine H - Australia

Certainly not, why should a world champ quit jus bcoz his car is causing troubles. I'll say that Mika is still a far better driver than anyone else... y shld Mika be held responsible for McLaren's fault? - Sriram - India

NO!!  Yes, he could very well win a 3rd title-depending on whether or not McLaren can fix the problems with the *car*.  There is nothing wrong with Mika's driving ability that a better car wouldn't fix - Charles - USA

No I do not think Mika should call it a day. He has had a dismal season this year but 9 points is as much as anybody could have hoped for given his circumstances. I doubt if even Schumy could have done better if he had the same problems. The only time I think Mika was at fault was in Spain where I think he threw away 10 points. He must have known that he was very far in the lead and should have backed off. You score the same points if you win by 1 second or 1 minute. Just maybe if he had backed off, his car could have lasted the distance. But then again I think he drove with his heart and not his head. After all he is a racing driver. For the rest he was mostly competitive while his car lasted.

The problems to my mind mostly concerns McLaren and not as much Mika. It is unthinkable to have experienced that much unreliability especially the cars that stalls on the grid/formation lap. One does not expect that from McLaren. No other team has experienced those problems to that extent.

No, Mika is still a capable driver. Maybe he does not have any hopes for the championship this year but he could still improve his position. He is still a better driver than most in Formula 1. But this just goes to show that one is only as good as your car is. It is only Schumy that can produce the goods in an average car. But racing has become so competitive that I don't think that is so easy anymore. There are too many very fast cars these days to capitalise on any weakness of anybody else - Johan M - South Africa

Yes, Hakkinen should stay at McLaren. In Formula One it is always tough to challenge for the title but in McLaren, they can provide more chances for him to do so. So I fully support Hakkinen to stay at McLaren - Jnr - Malaysia

Mika, don't quit, go to Toyota and take them to the top. Jacques, go to McLaren, give Michael a bit competition!!! - GOP - India

What have you done for us lately MIKA?

Give the guy a break, McLaren's problems could put a damper on anyone's season. 

I personally would love to see Williams do well but a win and a couple of podiums doesn't classify them as the team to beat.  I think Ralf is promising, however Juan Pablo, (Just- Juan in the US, I guess it sounds more "Exotic")  has a lot to prove - Jay M - USA.

What an absolutely stupid and nonsensical question!!!!!
No, he should not call it a day. His car sucks this year and has failed to deliver. Remember the last lap at Spain!
Coulthard has had his best chance of winning the drivers championship this year. He has fallen behind though.
Hakkinen has had the worse luck between the two and tats why he has been left behind in the standings. He shall come back next year with force.
If he quits it has nothing to do with people doubting his ability (which is preposterous). He is a great champion. Better than all!!!!! - 
Yaman - India

After he had a son, he is not as aggressive, he is my 2nd favorite driver (next to Jacques of course)
Time for Mika to spend time with the family and enjoy his money, and TIME FOR JACQUES TO TAKEOVER his seat, JACQUES is not thinking properly .. bottom line LEAVE BAR - JOIN MCLAREN - Tommy S - Canada

I think he should not quit, in fact McLaren should produce a more reliable engine and software, I think he should have a sting (proven in Spain before his car having a clutch problems)...I believe he enjoy driving a fast car....Kagt - Malaysia

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