It was painful to watch McLaren in 2015 – Hakkinen

Two-time Formula One world champion Mika Hakkinen admits it was “painful” to watch former team McLaren struggle in 2015.

McLaren, who switched to Honda power units for 2015, suffered 12 retirements and scored just 27 points between their two drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

The team’s highest finish was a fifth place by Alonso in Budapest, with the two drivers managing just six top-10 placings between them.

It has been a substantial fall from grace for the manufacturer, who was competing for race wins just a few seasons ago.

And Hakkinen – a winner of two drivers’ championships with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, said it has been hard to watch the team struggle but tipped them to bounce back in the near future.

“Of course it’s painful to watch them because everyone is talking about the failure,” the Finn told Autosport. “It’s physiologically demanding.

“If McLaren had a bad season this year, I don’t see that as the end of the world. It’s a big team and there are some great people working there.

“I’m sure with the right positive mentality and thinking, they will get over the problems and they will come back to being successful.

“This is not the end of McLaren. This is the start of McLaren. It’s a new relationship they have with a new engine manufacturer.

“This is a like a test to see how they can go over the problems together and face the challenges in the future.

“When you learn new things, you make mistakes and those mistakes make you wiser and you can be better.”

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