Motor Racing: VOX POP: With three grands prix left, who will end up as world champion?

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The Independent Online


I am really upset with myself after Monza. I made the mistake which ruined the chance I had to extend my lead in the World Championship. I took that chicane in second gear all weekend and by mistake I selected first gear that lap. Of course, I'm really upset with myself. It was the worst nightmare I could have had. Thousands of miles of testing there, and nothing until that lap. But I'm going to be stronger from now on and I'm going to win another title. That's the last mistake I'll be making this year.



Monza wasn't one of the best days at the office for McLaren. Mika made a rare mistake, but the points outcome could certainly have been much worse. Mika will have been pretty upset on Monday morning, as we all are when we don't win, but it won't be an ongoing issue. It's all part of motor racing. He's a strong character, and we won't have to rebuild his confidence. Of course, we are all confident at McLaren that we can win the World Championship. Both Mika and David Coulthard have strong chances.



We got out of jail in Monza, with Hakkinen's thing. That was very kind of him. He was crying afterwards, but until then I was the one crying. And just look how good the Jordans are going. That's very impressive - a team with the money they have, without a works engine. To do what they are doing is sensational. Who will win the title? I have no idea. But if we don't, then we won't have deserved it. If we do, we will deserve it. It's that simple. If we don't win, it's because we are not fast enough.



We managed to put a little bit of pressure on Mika and he made a mistake at Monza because he had to push that much harder. The laps Heinz- Harald drove prior to his stop were crucial and he did exactly what was expected of him. We have a chance in the championship now. If I had a team as good as McLaren and had not won the championship by now, I would be pretty sick. But they have just made too many errors. They have a litany of failure behind them, and I would not be afraid to have a bit of money on Heinz-Harald.



Monza was incredible, wasn't it? I still can't really believe that I have a chance of winning the title. I hadn't put my mind through those calculations. We can't beat the McLarens in a straight fight, but for sure we will be trying. The championship battle is really close, and the team and Mugen-Honda have done a fantastic job to make the car fast and reliable. McLaren did not use their potential at Monza. If this happens in the next races, it will give me and Eddie Irvine a good chance in the championship.



Mika Hakkinen must be under enormous pressure, because it is very rare for him to make a mistake. But Ferrari missed an opportunity to capitalise better. Now Jordan have leapt from nowhere. Realistically, you would have to say that the title is McLaren's to lose, and that they will get it together and not make any more mistakes. The odds favour them, because they have the fastest car. But Irvine is very persistent and the Ferrari will get better, and so will the Jordan. It could be very tight if McLaren slip up again.