Hakkinen: Championship not over yet

Mika Hakkinen has promised the world title fight would be a "battle to the end" after his firey exit from the United States Grand Prix. The Finn was defiant despite his demoralising defeat at the hands of Michael Schumacher at Indianapolis

Hakkinen: Championship not over yet

Hakkinen had been carving into Schumacher's lead by more than a second a lap when flames sprouted from his left rear suspension. The 31-year-old pulled off the track at the entrance to the pit lane and retired for the first time in 14 races.

"It's disappointing because I think I could have won it today," said Hakkinen who remained confident even though the fight for the title has swung dramatically in Ferrari's favour. "We have two races to go and it is not over yet," he said. "It is going to be a fight to the end.

Schumacher's victory means the German can wrap up the world championship with another win at the next round in Japan.

"The eight-point gap is nothing. Anything can still happen, just as we have seen before this season, so I'm not giving up. Things are looking tough for me - very difficult and getting tougher."

Hakkinen's engine went on lap 25 when he was second just 4.1 seconds behind Schumacher.

"What caused the failure I do not know," he said. "But when we got the cover off there was some serious damage to the engine."

Schumacher has 88 points, Hakkinen 80 and Coulthard 63 with two rounds remaining in Japan and Malaysia.

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