Merc director makes McLaren promise for 2001

Mercedes board member Jurgen Hubbert has said that McLaren-Mercedes drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will be given equal treatment as well as more reliable machinery in the quest for the 2001 Formula 1 World Championship

Merc director makes McLaren promise for 2001

"Both drivers will be given a chance to win the title back for McLaren-Mercedes, and we will give them a package that is more reliable than this year's," said Hubbert, speaking at the Stuttgart marque's annual 'Stars and Cars' day.

Hubbert also said that the chances of triple world champ Michael Schumacher ever driving for McLaren-Mercedes were very slim now that the German had finally taken the drivers' title for Ferrari after five years of trying.

"I don't think that Michael Schumacher will ever drive with Mercedes again," he said. "By winning the title with Ferrari, Schumacher has become immortal in Italy.

"In Germany, Schumacher is more important than anything else. For this reason, it is undoubtedly more important for us to win against him than win with him."

David Coulthard also potentially re-opened his war of words with Schumacher, despite burying the hatchet with the Ferrari ace at the final Grand Prix of the year in Malaysia.

"Schumacher wasn't the best driver [this year], because he was helped by too many factors," said Coulthard. "Next year it's going to be tough for him because I want to win my first title and Mika his third."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis was in bullish form at the Stuttgart extravaganza, joking that it could be a long time before Ferrari repeated this year's performance of taking both the drivers' and constructors' titles.

"We all know that history repeats itself," said Dennis, "but we will do everything in our power to try and prevent them from winning the title for the next 21 years."

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