A-1 Ring, July/ 24/ 1999 1999 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING McLarens shine at A1-Ring With the weather remaining as cool during qualifying at the A1-Ring as it was yesterday, the F1 teams were more confident about having made ...
A-1 Ring, July/ 24/ 1999 1999 AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
McLarens shine at A1-Ring
With the weather remaining as cool during qualifying at the A1-Ring as it was yesterday, the F1 teams were more confident about having made the correct choice of tyres. And today not everybody was on the same Bridgestone compound for qualifying. This could be significant if the temperatures change dramatically tomorrow. Mika Hakkinen took pole position - his seventh of the season - by more than one second from Eddie Irvine while Mika Salo will start his first race with Ferrari from 7th place on the grid. David Coulthard set 2nd fastest time, ahead of Eddie Irvine, who complained of inconsistent braking in the second Ferrari. Stewart-Ford's Brazilian driver Rubens Barrichello again showed good form in his revised car with 5th place on the grid.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "As we predicted, most drivers set their best qualifying laps on scrubbed tyres rather than on new tyres, in order to have a better balance and reduce understeering. The majority of the drivers finally opted for the Soft compound of Bridgestone tyre today. The race strategy from the tyre point of view could be to go for only one pit stop. According to our data there is not a big advantage between going for one or two pit stops."
Steve Hallam, Chief Engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "For us Friday ended with a lot of answered questions about our performance on low fuel and in qualifying trim. Today both of our drivers worked through the options that were available to them before making their decisions on which tyres to use in qualifying. We had problems with both cars at the beginning of the qualifying session, but we recovered very well from this unusual and unexpected situation. Mika took the T-car, which was set up exactly the same way as his race car, while David recovered from his setback and completed his schedule as planned. In addition to working on the correct strategy for the tyres, our two drivers are happy with the balance of their cars. The gap between our positions and the next driver demonstrates how satisfied we are with our performance."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director, Ferrari Team: "We used the Soft compound today, which is what I believe the majority of the teams also chose. The difference in balance between the scrubbed tyres and new ones made their performance slightly different, so it took time to prepare the cars for qualifying depending on the state of the tyres. I am not sure that we found the correct balance for qualifying, but throughout today's morning session our cars seemed to be very good on race fuel. That make us hopeful for tomorrow. Although Mika's position is only seventh on the grid, he did a good job for us in his first GP with Ferrari. If he had been able to put all his best section times together in one lap, he would have qualified 4th. Rather than predict a result, I prefer to wait and see our performance in the race tomorrow. "
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 15:-21: 20:-26: Dull - dry Afternoon 23:-23: 29:-30: Sunny- dry