News and views on motorsports

Monday, August 09, 2004

Return of the Flying Finn?

With Buttongate roaring around the news pages of F1 these days, a contender for his replacement at BAR has emerged. Two time world champion Mika Hakkinen has been rumoured to be in contact with Williams for some months now with a view to making his return to Formula 1. Well, it seems that "Our Jense" has closed that door firmly.

Now the news is filled with speculation that Hakkinen will instead step in to BAR. Could that be any truth in that? Hakkinen himself has made some comment about the existence of fire in the presence of smoke or something like that. Well, well, well. That would be interesting now wouldn't it?

Hakkinen is now like Schumacher firmly in the senior citizens sector of the drivers market. However, unlike Michael, he's been out of it for 3 seasons now come the end of 2004. Will he still have what it takes? That's an incredibly tall order I believe. No competitive motorsport and heaven knows what sort of training regime he follows for the last few years. To top it all off, what sort of money would he demand to be at BAR?

The more I think about it, the more it doesn't make much sense. Perhaps it would be better signing up David Coulthard instead. Now perhaps he has already? After all, David had been making some noises about landing a "competitive" drive next year but he hasn't mentioned who that might be.

So what happens to Taku? I really hope he'll remain at BAR next season. The man deserves a chance seriously. He's extremely fast in my book. Quite as fast as Jenson himself. That banzai kamikaze metality needs to be kept in check one would argue but I think that can be turned into his strength instead of a weakness. Give him another season and I think he'll be as unstoppable as he was in British F3.

If Taku fails to retain his seat then could we have a return to the Mika Hakkinen / David Coulthard pairing we had in the late 90s and early millenium? I'm not so certain that it would be such a hot pairing these days. But they work wel together and David should be more equal to Mika nowadays given that Mika is off form.

And what of the BAR team itself? More later but for now I'd say they are a lean outfit and I believe are applying more brainpower to maximize their resources than any other team in the paddock. I'm a big Honda fan despite owning a Toyota and I'm quite keen to see them succeed. They have as good a chance as any I believe.

Yes, I mentioned Toyota. More of them later as well. But at the moment, that team is completely rubbish.

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