Hakkinen philosophical after poor qualifying

Mika Hakkinen was philosophical after a disastrously unlucky qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix left him fifth on the grid - behind both his championship rivals

Hakkinen philosophical after poor qualifying

"Tomorrow is another day and I'm looking forward to a competitive race," he claimed.

World champion Hakkinen, who won this race two years ago and started last year from pole, was a lowly 17th going into the final minute of the session.

However, crashes and slower traffic spoiled Hakkinen's first three runs.

His nerve held for his last run as he managed to pull the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-15 up to fifth. Nevertheless, he will still start behind championship rivals Michael Schumacher, who is on pole, and David Coulthard, who is third and directly in front of him on the grid.

"Obviously I'm not where I want to be for the race. It just seemed that whenever I was on a flying lap I was caught in traffic or the yellow flags came out and I had to go back into the pits and try again.

"As a result we were not able to maximise our performance today.

"Monaco is one of those places where you can lose out very easily if you are not in the right place at the right time."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis enthused over the qualifying hour, calling it one of the "most dramatic" qualifying sessions he had experienced at Monte Carlo.

But Dennis claimed that this drama surrounding a last minute tilt at climbing to the front of the grid lost Hakkinen pole.

"With his first three runs spoiled his last was executed with a degree more of caution than is required to attack for pole and ultimately fifth place was therefore somewhat of a relief," said the 57-year-old.

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