Mika Hakkinen won his two Formula 1 World Championships driving for McLaren powered by Mercedes, therefore, no surprise he is delighted with the announcement that the two superpowers of Formula 1 are uniting once again.
The man who won the 1998 and 1999 F1 titles driving for the partnership, wrote in his Unibet column: “It is very satisfying to see McLaren return to a position of relative competitiveness, and this week’s news that they use Mercedes engines from 2021 onwards is very significant.
“I won both my World Championships for McLaren-Mercedes, and this week is the 18th anniversary of my 20th and final victory for McLaren. It is a partnership that worked very well in the past, and team boss Andreas Seidl has identified this as being a key element in McLaren’s strategy to become winners again.
“The 2019 season is not even finished but already Formula 1 is turning its attention to 2020 and even 2021, when new regulations should make it possible for more teams to compete-to-win.
“McLaren’s determination to join Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing in battling for victories is important, both for them and for Formula 1,” added the Finn who spent nine years driving for the Woking outfit.
With McLaren’s engine future mapped out, the team are also relishing the fact that their two current drivers should serve them well for several years to come as Carlos Sainz has matured and having his best season in the top flight, while Lando Norris has been one of the sensations of this season.
Seidl confirmed to AS, “We have no doubts about seeing these two drivers as our future. Having that clarity is fantastic for us and will help us improve as a team.”
Seidl said Sainz is a “key element” for the development of the car. “When you hear him speak, you would think he has an engineering degree.”
“I see a lot of potential in both of them. They are the future of this team, now it’s up to us to improve and give them a better car,” added the German.
Since the heyday f the late nineties, McLaren-Mercedes had to wait almost a decade before they claimed another title with Lewis Hamilton doing the business in 2008.
That was the last time they won an F1 World Championship. The last time the team scored a victory was at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix with Jenson Button who also their last driver to celebrate on the podium, which he did at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.
Well-documented barren years have followed since, but signs are that the tide is turning at the MTC and proof is in their results this year. With five races remaining they are comfortably Best-of-the-Rest, fourth in the constructors’ championship.
Big Question: Can McLaren win races and titles with Mercedes power?