Mika predicts tough challenge ahead

Mika Hakkinen claims he is facing an uphill struggle to win his third successive world championship

Mika predicts tough challenge ahead

The McLaren driver is chasing a hat-trick of title wins but trails Ferrari's Michael Schumacher by 24 points.

The Finn has only managed one second place all season - at Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix - compared to Schumacher's clean-sweep of victories in the opening three races of the year.

Hakkinen looked on course for his first win of 2000 after controlling the 62-lap battle for the first 44 laps, but lost out following a Schumacher charge.

Speaking to The Express, Hakkinen said: "It is a hell of a gap to make up and the only way I am going to do it is by winning races and staying in front of Michael.

"I am happy to score points, but I should have won the race. After my first stop I hit something on the track and destroyed the floor of the car.

"Just before my second stop I was going flat out and the car just stopped. It was as though someone in the crowd had pushed a switch to turn off the engine.

"I thought the game was over, but the engine came alive again and continued. I lost a lot of time and that cost us the race, but in the end I was just lucky to finish."

Hakkinen will be bidding to score his first win of the season at next weekend's British Grand Prix.

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