Hakkinen bumps himself off the front row...

Mika Hakkinen denied he was disappointed at bumping himself off the front row for Sunday's crucial US Grand Prix

Hakkinen bumps himself off the front row...

The Finn gave David Coulthard a tow down the fast pit straight and boosted his team-mate's lap time enough to promote the Scot ahead of him onto the front row.

Hakkinen had thrown away one of his early runs with an extra lap and was not going to be able to beat Schumacher off pole - so the tactic appeared to be a bid to get the Scot ahead of the Ferrari.

Hakkinen starts third with title rival Michael Schumacher on pole for the second race in succession.

The Finn denied Coulthard will be called on to let him pass off the line. "I am going into the race to win. Both David and I are," he said. "Lets see how the race goes, what chances there are and how the race develops.

"I was not worried about being pushed off the front row."

Hakkinen said there was some concern the circuit's historic yard of bricks which run across the track on the front row could affect front row starters.

"There could be some traction problems accelerating off the yard of bricks on the front row," he said. "So being on the second row may not such a bad idea."

Hakkinen said he was also concerned about the field squeezing through the first bend.

"The first corner is always difficult. Everyone wants to be first into the first corner. It's a long, long straight and we are going to get up to very high speeds.

"Luckily there is a very big run off area for anyone who realises they are going too fast. But it's still going to be difficult."

Hakkinen has 80 points and Schumacher has 78 with three rounds, including Sunday's remaining. Coulthard is on 61 and Barrichello 49.

For the starting grid for the US GP click HERE.

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