Not one but two potential comebacks for double Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen never transpired due to health reasons.
It was already known that, three years after his 2001 retirement, the Finn was linked with a return to formula one with Williams.
But now it emerges that McLaren, for whom the now 46-year-old competed so successfully between 1993 and 2001, also tried to woo Hakkinen out of retirement in 2006.
The claim was made by Oskari Saari, a pundit for the Finnish broadcaster MTV3, in his new book about McLaren doctor and fellow Finn Aki Hintsa.
He claims Hintsa, famously close to Hakkinen, was summoned to England by Ron Dennis.
“Aki,” Dennis is quoted as saying, “do you believe that Mika would be able to return to formula one?”
“No chance,” Hintsa reportedly replied. “I sincerely believe that, and I cannot lie.”
The book said Hintsa concluded that Hakkinen’s four-year absence from F1 would have made his return too difficult.