Dennis refuses to name 2002 line-up

  • Dennis refuses to name 2002 line-up
    27 August 2001

    McLaren boss Ron Dennis insisted on Monday that he is in no hurry to confirm his driver line-up for the 2002 season.

    The Woking-based team have been the centre of massive press speculation concerning Mika Hakkinen, who has been tipped by many people to retire at the end of the year, and David Coulthard, who now looks likely to stay put for another year.

    Dennis said on Monday that he and the team knew what the outcome would be for 2002 but refused to reveal his decision.

    "We are well aware of the things that have been said but they are no more than speculation," said Dennis.

    "We know exactly where we are going on our driver line-up. We know almost exactly to the day when we are intending to have a press release and explain our strategy. It's more elaborate than just a selection of F1 drivers."

    Among those that have been linked to a drive at McLaren are the now Benetton-bound Jarno Trulli and Jordan's new signing Giancarlo Fisichella. Alexander Wurz has also been tipped to step up from his role of test driver at McLaren.

    While Coulthard looks to be staying put, Dennis might opt for a change of line-up in a bid to overturn the team's stuttering world championship bid this year.

    Coulthard had been pushing early on in the season for the drivers' title with Michael Schumacher but technical glitches with the McLaren have caused both him and Hakkinen to falter.

    And concerning the season of underachievement Dennis said: "I think the drivers have done a pretty good job. It's all too easy to question the performance of a driver at individual races but I think both David and Mika have reason to question our performance.

    "But we have never been quitters and we are not going to start now. We'll be working flat out to win all the remaining races and intend to hit the ground running at the start of 2002."