The accidents were eerily similar. The British American Racing cars sped uphill out of the Eau Rouge corner, both losing rear end grip at the same spot and spinning out of control. When all was said and done after today's qualifying session for...
The accidents were eerily similar. The British American Racing cars sped uphill out of the Eau Rouge corner, both losing rear end grip at the same spot and spinning out of control. When all was said and done after today's qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix, Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta were shaken but not stirred, although their cars were totalled. Jacques' accident happened at the beginning of his second run when he lost control of the car on the exit of Eau Rouge, with the rear end swinging around to the left, and crashed rear-end first into a tyre barrier. Ricardo was starting his third timed run when he went off at almost the same point, flipped spectacularly and was left with only the monocoque around him. Neither driver sustained injury and the team has re-routed cars en route to a Monza test, to Spa, for Sunday's
Both drivers posted respectable times on their first runs, and although their final grid positions were not a bad indication of performance, both had sought to improve further. Villeneuve did make one more run in the spare car, but was unable to improve his time and the team decided to call it a day.
Jacques VILLENEUVE I was going flat out through Eau Rouge and when the rear started to go, I just couldn't hold it. I hit the barriers very hard but the tyres absorbed a lot of the shock. There was no mechanical failure, but our cars are not easy to drive and they are quite nervous at the rear. I was simply trying too hard and the car got away from me.
Ricardo ZONTA The accident happened very quickly and I really don't know why. I was adjusting slightly for the corner, I didn't feel any oversteer, but then the back came round so quickly I had no chance to correct it. I am perfectly okay though, and will race on Sunday.
Craig POLLOCK, Chairman & CEO, British American Racing We are all very relieved that both our drivers are unhurt, thanks to the strong construction of these cars. Both accidents happened so quickly that neither driver is able to say exactly what happened. We don't believe this was a failure and our telemetry does not suggest it was. However, we will examine the cars very closely to try to determine the cause. In the meantime we will use the test cars which are coming straight here from the factory.