Former Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen of Finland says that giving Spanish driver Fernando Alonso a one-year sabbatical is “not a good idea”.
Hakkinen’s statements came after McLaren CEO Ron Dennis hinted at the possibility of giving Alonso a break for one year until the end of the preparations to get the team’s vehicle ready for competitions, reports Efe.
Alonso had previously confirmed that he will participate in next year’s F1 races, starting with the Australian Grand Prix.
“I personally had the possibility to come back after my sabbatical year but then I recognized that’s it, I’m done, I’m happy,” Hakkinen, who won the World Championship in 1998 and 1999 with McLaren, said.
“In Fernando’s case, I don’t think it’s a very good move. You have to keep fighting – I think it will be very difficult to go and take a year out,” the 47-year-old warned.
Hakkinen did not return to F1 racing after his temporary retirement. However, he participated in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and won three races, and in 2006 he cooperated with McLaren as a test driver, despite being the slowest among 18 cars.