After running third and fourth in the later stages of the race, Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda had to be satisfied with fifth place for Jarno Trulli after Heinz-Harald Frentzen was forced to retired with a technical problem eight laps from the...
After running third and fourth in the later stages of the race, Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda had to be satisfied with fifth place for Jarno Trulli after Heinz-Harald Frentzen was forced to retired with a technical problem eight laps from the finish.
'I made a very good start,' said Trulli. 'I was in fourth place and feeling good. We had decided on a one-stop strategy and, about 15 laps before I was due to come in, I began to have problems with the clutch. I was not as quick as before and I was struggling with the rear tyres. Unfortunately, the pit stop was one lap before the rain came, so I had to come in again for intermediate tyres and that cost me a position. The track started to dry in places towards the end and I could feel the car oversteering quite a lot. So, it was a struggle to reach the finish.'
The team's one-stop tactic for both drivers seemed to be paying off when they moved into third and fourth places but a place on the podium for Frentzen was to be denied in the closing stages.
'The strategy was perfect,' said Frentzen. 'We put on intermediate tyres when the rain came and, although the car was difficult to drive when the track was very wet, these tyres were the right choice. I was in a comfortable third place when the engine developed a misfire caused by an electrical problem. Then the car just stopped. A disappointing result, obviously, but the Jordan-Honda's potential is very clear.' Frentzen was classified 11th at the end of the 71-lap race.
'It was looking so good for us until about 10 laps from the finish,' said Eddie Jordan. 'It was not to be but it was very good to have Jarno earn his first points of the season. We are naturally very disappointed for Heinz when he had a podium finish in his sights. But this is the third race in succession in which Jordan Grand Prix has scored points, so that is positive. Now we can look forward to returning to Europe after three difficult long-haul races.'