Apr.20 (GMM) Mika Hakkinen ruled out returning to formula one but said his friend, former rival and fellow multiple world champion Michael Schumacher could be back on the grid in "two or three years".
The Finn, who left the sport at the end of 2001 but is today a Mercedes-Benz racer in Germany's DTM touring car series, recently tested for his former team McLaren, but to the newspaper 'Welt' played down speculation that he could be preparing to return to F1.
38-year-old Hakkinen, however, insisted that he thought the similarly-aged Schumacher would probably find it as hard as he did to lose the desire to simply race.
"It will take him two, three years before he starts to think about coming back," Mika, who recently appeared on a TV tribute for Schumacher's career alongside the German and gifted him a unicycle, predicted.
Hakkinen also raced a go-kart with Schumacher on the tribute show and had arranged a personalised plaque for his unicycle which read: 'To Michael -- my great rival and friend'.
Referring again to seven time world champion Schumacher, he said: "I believe formula one would not be the only option open to him -- perhaps he would also think about DTM, or something else.
"Racing is racing."
Hakkinen insisted that a few years of retirement would not make it impossible for a former driver to return to the pace, even in formula one.
"With talent, experience and above all ambition, it can be done," Mika added.
Written: Sat, 21 Apr 2007 09:12:44
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