Two-time F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen says he would be open to returning to competitive action in motor-racing, but is wary that business and personal ventures could restrict any potential programme.
Hakkinen took a sabbatical from Formula 1 after 2001, that turned into retirement, but competed in DTM from 2005 to 2007, taking three wins and a best of fifth in the standings.
Hakkinen has undertaken demonstration runs in classic machinery since, but his last race appearance came at the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011.
“I thought about it quite often actually if I would do some type of racing,” Hakkinen, 50, said after demonstrating his title-winning McLaren MP4-13 at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“To be a brand ambassador for McLaren, I think it would be exciting to do something.
“But honestly, it takes time. It’s a commitment. It takes time from your life, the preparation. I have to admit I’m quite busy with my brand ambassador work, what I’m doing with the company at the moment.
“[I have] five kids at home, that’s not a holiday either! So if I add something in my life more, it just takes time away from the family, or you can sacrifice some work. But it has to be balanced.
Hakkinen nonetheless feels he would have the ability – and competitive spirit – to make a race return.
“I think it could be quite possible for me quite easily, because I have the [muscles] for driving, I’ve done driving for so many years,” he said.
“I’m also a brand ambassador for Hintsa Performance, so I think they would help me a lot because they’re taking care of many, many Grand Prix drivers in the field.
“All that kind of aspects are in the right place, so it would not be too difficult.
“But of course when you go out there, you want to win. You’re not going to go there for second or third place. You want to win and kick some butt!”