Brazil Saturday Qualifying Press Conference

Qualifying Press Conference Qualifying: 1. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren Mercedes) 1:17.092s 2. David Coulthard (McLaren Mercedes) 1:17.757s 3. Heinz Harald Frentzen (Williams Mecachrome) 1:18.109s Q. Mika, ...

Qualifying Press Conference

Qualifying: 1. Mika Hakkinen (McLaren Mercedes) 1:17.092s 2. David Coulthard (McLaren Mercedes) 1:17.757s 3. Heinz Harald Frentzen (Williams Mecachrome) 1:18.109s

Q. Mika, congratulations on your second consecutive pole position, with a margin of nearly 0.7 of a second over your own teammate. Did you expect it to be that much?

MH: It is a lot, indeed. What happened, David? This track suits my driving style a lot and I have found the quickest way to go around this track and through the corners. I personally enjoy a lot about driving around this track because all the corners are quite challenging. They are quite bumpy and the kerbs are quite interesting. I enjoy driving this track enormously and that helps me to perform even better.

Q. What was the problem on your last run when you did one slow lap? MH: The team called me in and informed me that there were yellow flags. I immediately slowed down. If you go flat out with the yellow flags you lose your fastest laps.

Q. The stewards have said that your brake system is illegal. Are you sorry that you can't use it?

MH: Yes, I am. We had a great car, and we are developing the car all the time to be even faster, and that was one of the things which could make the car faster. So from the driver's point, I'm of course not very happy about it. But whatever I say won't change the decision. So I just try to take the car and go around the track as fast as I can.

Q. The stewards want to see you about an incident on the track this morning. Can you explain?

MH: We are confused about that. The stewards are talking about something with the yellow flags somewhere. I would be very surprised [if I had done anything wrong], because this morning and yesterday, every time I saw a yellow flag I slowed down and raised my arm. I really wanted to do it properly so it would not be any danger for anybody. I have to to see the video and see exactly where [the incident] was.

Q. It was nice to see you congratulating all your mechanics. MH: They are great guys, and they are doing great work. They deserve this as much as we [the drivers] do to be here today. I want them to feel happy because they deserve it.

Q. What happened to you here, David? DC: Mika has been quicker than me in every session. We have been pretty even in T1 and T3 and he has anything from O.2 to O.3 quicker than me in the middle section. In reality, if I'd kept my third run together then that is what the difference would have been. Qualifying is all about the driver keeping the car together for the lap, and I didn't manage to do that today. On my first run I ran wide at the first corner. My second run was just to establish where I was with the car. The third run I ended only doing the same time although I was O.5 of a second faster ... so I probably would have been a couple of tenths away from what Mika was doing. Q. Heinz, you are 0.4 behind Coulthard and one second behind Mika. How do you feel about that?

HHF: A little bit better than I expected because for sure McLaren would have been in a class of their own here again. Starting this weekend on Friday with a lot of set up work, I wasn't very happy with the set up of the car or how the car behaved. So we spent a lot of time setting up the car as good as possible, and that was the maximum today. David would have gone a little bit quicker in qualifying if everything had gone right for him. But as I expected, McLaren has a nice margin on the rest of the field.

Q. The situation right now is almost the same as it was at this time in Australia three weeks ago. Is it likely to be any different in tomorrow's race?

HHF: I am not allowed to tell you now, because of the betting, you know. We have to be careful ...

Q. Mika, you mentioned the confusion over the yellow flag incident this morning. Were you aware that if you were to be punished, your best time in qualifying could have been taken away? HHF: Yes, I knew that all the time. I knew I had to make sure of getting good laps, at least two laps quicker than David, so it was not too easy ... But yes, I knew the situation.

Q. Are the tyres here lasting less well than in Melbourne?

DC: I really don't know at the moment Bridgestone will run a check on the tyres and then let us know what to do. In terms of fuel, it feels very much the same [as in Australia]. But we won't have all the tyre information until maybe as late as after the warm up tomorrow.

HHF: We found an improved tyre in the last Barcelona test, and they looked very stable and consistent throughout the run here.

Q. I got an E mail message yesterday from a fan who lost 100 pounds (US$165) by betting on you to win in Australia. He wants to know if he can safely bet on you again tomorrow. What advice would you give?

DC: I am not a betting man myself, so I wouldn't even know where to start advising him. He will have to go with the feelings in his water.

From DREINING@VMS1.GMU.EDU Mon Mar 30 17:02:15 1998 Received: from vms1.gmu.edu (vms1.gmu.edu [129.174.1.12]) by omega.metrics.com (8.8.8/8.8.8) with ESMTP id RAA07553 for <press@motorsport.com>; Mon, 30 Mar 1998 17:02:13 -0500 (EST) From: DREINING@VMS1.GMU.EDU Received: from VMS1.GMU.EDU by VMS1.GMU.EDU (PMDF V5.0-5 #8095) id <01IVA9FE8ATC006D1E@VMS1.GMU.EDU> for press@motorsport.com; Mon, 30 Mar 1998 17:02:05 -0500 (EST) Date: Mon, 30 Mar 1998 17:02:05 -0500 (EST) Subject: F1: Brazil Sunday Race Facts To: press@motorsport.com Message-id: <01IVA9H0TNQ6006D1E@VMS1.GMU.EDU> MIME-version: 1.0 Content-type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII Content-transfer-encoding: 7BIT Status: O X-Status:

Sunday 29 March 1998 Sunday Race FACTS AND INCIDENTS

At the start the two McLaren-Mercedes get away well with Mika Hakkinen maintaining his grid advantage to take the lead at the first corner. David Coulthard slots into second place ahead of Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Eddie Irvine, Alexander Wurz and a slow-starting Michael Schumacher. In the course of the first lap Michael passes Wurz to take back fifth place.

Further back Jacques Villeneuve makes a great start to leap from 10th to seventh at the end of the first lap, helped by the fact that Ralf Schumacher goes off trying to make up places.

The two McLarens quickly establish themselves at the front of the field with a five second advantage by the end of the third lap. After eight laps Hakkinen begins build a gap over Coulthard. At the back of the field Shinji Nakano spins out at the first corner.

Hakkinen sets a string of fastest lap to pull out a lead of four seconds over Coulthard by the end of lap 14. Frentzen stays third but drops back over 10 secs in the first 10 laps. The two Ferraris switch places at the first corner on lap 10, a move which allows Schumacher to attack Williams. Irvine drops away from his team-mate.

In the midfield the order remains static lap 14 when Jean Alesi forces his way past Jarno Trulli. Two laps later Trulli drops behind Damon Hill and Jan Magnussen and the Prost driver pits to retire with mechanical trouble on lap 17.

The order at the front remains unchanged until the first pit stops. These begin on lap 26 when the first drivers running two-stop strategies come into the pits. Schumacher is the first. He is followed on lap 27 by both Frentzen and Irvine and on lap 29 by Villeneuve. The race in the pits puts Schumacher up into fourth place ahead of Frentzen but behind Wurz who is on a one-stop strategy. Irvine and Villeneuve re-emerge from the pits in heavy traffic in the midfield.

Both Arrows cars go out early on with mechanical troubles but in the middle part of the race Jacques Villeneuve makes a big impression as he fights through the midfield, passing Olivier Panis and Irvine.

Coulthard slips backwards and is nine seconds behind Hakkinen when David pits on lap 36. Hakkinen stays out for three more laps before his stop. Mika emerges in the lead with Coulthard three seconds behind. Wurz stays out, running a late one-stop strategy and so is able to run third in the middle section of the race, coming under pressure from Schumacher and Frentzen before his pit stop on lap 46. Giancarlo Fisichella also stops very late and gains places as a result.

The two-stop runners begin to stop again on lap 45 with Frentzen the first to come in. He is followed by Villeneuve on lap 48. Schumacher and Irvine also stop again on laps 53 and 55. Schumacher stalls during his stop but is still able to get out of the pits in third place but he is a minute behind the McLarens.

Wurz's tactic means that he emerges in fourth place ahead of Frentzen. Heinz-Harald is lapped by Hakkinen on lap 68. Fisichella benefits from his strategy to get ahead of Villeneuve. Further back Irvine leads home Jean Alesi.

In the closing laps there are spots of rain and Hakkinen backs off to make sure that he does not make a mistake. This allows David Coulthard to close up to within a second on the last lap.

The only major runners to retire in the second part of the race are Olivier Panis who drops out of 10th place on lap 64 with mechanical problems and Johnny Herbert who retires on lap 67.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jarno Trulli , Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Olivier Panis , Jacques Villeneuve , Jan Magnussen , Alexander Wurz , Shinji Nakano , Damon Hill
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Williams