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Jaguar's Eddie Irvine :
"The will is stronger than everto be honest"
 real 56k

banner Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Irvine: I'm not quitting
Mika Hakkinen discusses tactics with McLaren bosses
Mika Hakkinen's Formula One future is uncertain
Eddie Irvine says he has no intentions to quit Formula One racing for Jaguar in the near future.

The Irishman made his position clear in the wake of uncertainty surrounding Mika Hakkinen's future with reports suggesting the Finn was about to retire at the end of the current campaign.

McLaren have yet to announce their confirmed line-up for next season, increasing speculation the two-time world champion could quit at the end of the current campaign.

I haven't achieved what I want to achieve
  Eddie Irvine

"Mika's a very different person from me," Irvine said at a Jaguar news conference to announce the continuation of his team's sponsorship deal with HSBC bank.

"I've known Mika since he was probably 17 or 18 and he's done what he thinks he probably can achieve.

"He's won two world championships and is probably not going to win another one unless he wants to stick around for a long, long time.

"So maybe that's what he thinks and he's going to say 'right, enough's enough'. But I haven't achieved what I want to achieve.

"So that (retirement) is not something that even crosses my mind to be honest."

Eddie Irvine of Jaguar
Irvine: No desire to retire from F1
German magazine Auto Bild reported Frenchman Olivier Panis would replace Hakkinen, who has only nine points from 10 races this season, at McLaren in 2002.

And Irvine believes Michael Schumacher's dominance this season has made Hakkinen reassess his goals in Formula One.

"I think Mika probably realises Michael's got the car that isn't bad enough for anyone else to win the championship," he added.

"The only thing is if Michael has a problem so Mika probably realises that it's not going to happen," said the 35-year-old, who will be driving in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on Sunday.

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See also:

09 Jul 01 |  Formula One
Hakkinen 'set to retire'
09 Jul 01 |  Formula One
Irvine blast at Barrichello
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