Schumacher Says Hakkinen Should Have Moved On

Michael Schumacher suggested on Friday that Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen should have left McLaren last season to keep himself fully motivated.

Schumacher Says Hakkinen Should Have Moved On

Michael Schumacher suggested on Friday that Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen should have left McLaren last season to keep himself fully motivated.

"Mika does not seem to be at the optimum," said the Ferrari driver, who leads the Finn's team mate David Coulthard by 12 points in the championship.

"I don't know why, although it is far too early to say that he is out of the race for the championship as he still has every chance.

"But if I was Mika and had been with a team for seven years and won two world championships, then I would probably have gone elsewhere to find some new motivation and a new challenge.

"But perhaps Mika did not have the right options because while I was at Benetton I had three very good opportunities," added the German.

Hakkinen has been at McLaren since the end of the 1993 season and seems to have fallen off the pace in recent races as he chases a third consecutive world drivers' championship. The Finn is currently third in the championship with 38 points, 18 behind Schumacher and with just one win -- in Spain -- to his credit.

Hakkinen has also been criticised by Austria's former champion Niki Lauda, who won titles with both Ferrari and McLaren and believes the Finn lacks the desire to fight for the championship.

Lauda said Hakkinen should not have taken a holiday between the French and Austrian Grands Prix.

"I would have thought that when your team mate is faster than you, as David Coulthard is at the moment, then you should be testing and not taking a holiday," he said.

"You need to be working with the team and getting the car set up so it suits you."

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