Hakkinen happy to finish

Mika Hakkinen finally got his championship challenge up and running with

Hakkinen happy to finish

second place in the San Marino Grand Prix.
Having led but failed to finish the first two races the fates conspired
against him once again in the Ferrari heartland and a third victory went
begging.

His McLaren was damaged by flying debris and his Mercedes engine mysterious
cut out - proving McLaren are yet to totally conquer their reliability
problems.

"The engine just stopped when I was flat out in seventh gear ," said
Hakkinen. "It was only three or four seconds but it was enough."

"It went dead like someone throwing the switch and I thought the game was
over but it kicked into life again.

"Before that I hit some metal piece on the track which destroyed the front of
the floor and I lost a lot of the aerodynamics [grip] which made the car
difficult to drive for most of the race.

Six points in three races leaves him fourth in the championship and 24 points
behind his arch rival who won for the third race in succession.

Even so Hakkinen still found reasons to smile and crack a joke.

Asked for the positive points of his race he said: "I finished."

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