Points for both Jordans - bittersweet result for Brazilian fans The crowds of Brazilian fans who packed the Interlagos circuit for today's Brazilian Grand Prix went home celebrating victory for the right team, but not the right driver. Hopes...
Points for both Jordans - bittersweet result for Brazilian fans
The crowds of Brazilian fans who packed the Interlagos circuit for today's Brazilian Grand Prix went home celebrating victory for the right team, but not the right driver. Hopes of a Ferrari victory for Rubens Barrichello were dashed when the local hero retired from the race with suspected engine failure. But Michael Schumacher went on to win his and Ferrari's second consecutive race, putting the Italian team twenty points clear of rivals McLaren in the World Championship contest.
Benson and Hedges Jordan enjoyed an excellent race, with both cars winning points. A combination of strategy, strong reliability and excellent driving skills saw Frentzen and Trulli move from 7th and 12th positions to 4th and 5th respectively. Trulli ran a one stop strategy which worked to enable him to move up the field on a light fuel load in the early stages of the race. Frentzen made one stop, battling throughout the race with ex-Jordan driver Fisichella, who ultimately took third place. As Frentzen closed in on the Italian in the closing stages of the race he posted the second fastest lap time of the race, 1.15.192, behind Michael Schumacher's 1.14.755.
"This is a very good result," said Frentzen after the race. "I am very happy to score three points and it was good that Jarno scored two so that the team is now fourth in the Championship. I was a bit disappointed that I could not follow Fisichella in the middle of the race -- my rear tyres took a lot of wear and I had to come in for an early pit stop to change them. At the end of the race I was able to move closer to him, but it was not possible to catch him today." "After yesterday's dreadful qualifying I am really pleased with this result," said Trulli. "To move from 12th to 5th is fantastic and it is very good for the team to have both drivers winning points. I had a good start and the first stage of the race went perfectly as the car was competitive and I was able to overtake. Unfortunately, after my pit stop I found the car very heavy but then in the last stage of the race it got better. This result is especially good since the next race is in Imola where I hope all my fans will come and support me."
A delighted Executive Eddie Jordan said, "This is a very good result for the team, and one we did not really expect starting from 7th and 12th. It is fantastic to see both cars finish in the points. There had been a lot of concern about our reliability and today proved that we did indeed make a big step at Silverstone in testing last week. The strategy worked well for both drivers; two stops for Jarno so that he could start the race with a low fuel load and move up the grid which he did perfectly, and one stop for Heinz. It was disappointing not to catch Fisichella in the closing stages of the race, but we will make it to the podium soon."
Elsewhere in the race, McLaren's Championship fight suffered a blow when World Championship Mika Hakkinen retired on lap 30, driving straight down the pit lane and into the garage. Jaguar also failed to deliver, with retirements by both drivers. Benetton and Williams performed well, with Fisichella and Ralf Schumacher (like Michael Schumacher) winning points for the second consecutive race. Jensen Button gave a strong performance to finish just behind his team mate, just outside the points in 7th place. Both Arrows cars finished the race, albeit outside the points, whilst neither Prosts made it to the Chequered Flag. Villeneuve was not able to repeat his points winning performance of Melbourne, retiring on lap 16, but his team mate finished 10th, small compensation perhaps for the Brazilian crowd.