Mika finally back on podium

Mika Hakkinen finally finished on the podium for the first time this season with third place in Canada from eighth on the grid

Mika finally back on podium

The Finn's result doubles his 2001 points tally. Prior to Canada, Hakkinen's fourth place at Imola was his highest finish of the season.

"It has been a disastrous start to year, so it was nice to reach podium at last," said Hakkinen. "The target was to finish on podium. This was most important for the team. It's no mean achievement when you start eighth on a circuit like this.

Hakkinen admitted that most of his gains were made through McLaren's pit stop strategy. He stayed out until lap 48 before pitting, leapfrogging many of the midfield drivers who he had been struggling to pass on track.

"The pit stops worked out for me but I have to admit I wasn't 100 per cent happy with the car because I could see I was losing time into the corners," he said. "I had a little drama at the end because there was some kind of vibration for the last 15 laps, but at least it all worked out alright at the end."

Hakkinen is now 50 points behind championship leader Michael Schumacher. He has not won a race since the Belgian Grand Prix last August, and his third place in Canada was the first time the double champion had reached the podium since he took second at Suzuka eight months ago.

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