1998 and 1999 world champion Mika Hakkinen will test a McLaren when the winter period kicks off at Circuit de Catalunya this week, according to newspaper reports in Spain.
The 38-year-old Finn left formula one in 2001, but returned last year to the DTM touring car series and has in recent days been doing laps in the Woking based team’s computer simulator.
Ron Dennis admitted this week that Hakkinen is ‘keen to contribute’ to McLaren’s F1 programme.
The team principal added: “On the basis that Kimi (Raikkonen) and Juan Pablo Montoya not being available and not being appropriate to the work we are doing for next year, Mika can evaluate some of the things we are developing and bringing to the car.”
Spain’s Diario As contends that McLaren ‘intend to take advantage of (Hakkinen’s) experience with Bridgestone tyres’ at the test.
The newspaper did not say on which of the three days in Barcelona Hakkinen would test.
The sports daily ‘Marca’, meanwhile, headlined the latest Hakkinen rumour as predicting that the Finn is going to be McLaren’s ‘sport advisor’ in 2007.
Hakkinen, at the McLaren factory again this week, was quoted as saying: “It is just rumours. It is still my objective to be in the DTM but if McLaren asks me to help them then I am very happy to do that.”
Dennis, meanwhile, reportedly said: “Mika’s presence is going to be very important. He is incredibly enthusiastic, he knows this team inside-out and is going to help us to develop the car.”