Race Day - Silverstone 14th - 16th July Mark Blundell scored two championship points for the Marlboro McLare Mercedes team after finishing fifth in the British Grand Prix, albeit on three ...
Race Day - Silverstone 14th - 16th July Mark Blundell scored two championship points for the Marlboro McLare Mercedes team after finishing fifth in the British Grand Prix, albeit on three wheels. He lost a place in a final lap of the race as the damage from an earlier collision with Rubens Barrichello took its toll on his left rear tyre. Mika Hakkinen went up two places after a superb start and was running fourth when an electrical problem caused him to retire on his 20th lap.
Mika Hakkinen: "I was very optimistic after the warm-up. The car was feeling good and Mercedes had made a big step forward with my race engine. However, I had to start from eigth place on the grid and many cars to overtake. As it turned out, I had a good start and gained two places. Unfortunately on lap 10, as I placed myself for the race, getting a feel for the car and the engine, electrical problems started affecting a lot of things in the car and I began to lose ground on the leaders. A few laps later, gearbox clutch hydralics started to fail, so I had to stop. Nevertheless, the performance of the car has much improved since Magny-Cours, and I am very optimistic for the next races. We have to work even hard to take another step forward, and I am sure we will."
Mark Blundell: "I lost a place at the start which is all down to me, but apart from that I kept a consistent pace throughout the race. However, I got a bit upset with the new blue flag rule. The flags were not used as I was trying to lap four or five people. I got stuck behind Martini for two and a half laps, which cost me a lot of time and created the situation which saw Rubens Barrichello getting very close to me. In the end, I defended my line and Rubens hit the back of my car. I lost the rear left tyre as a result of the damage and I limped to the finish on three wheels, losing a place in the process."
Norbert Haug: "Today saw us make a step forward. I feel sorry for Mika who was affected by electronics problems, while running fourth. We would have liked to try the new specification engine a little bit more. Mark did a good job and it is a shame that Barrichello hit him on the penultimate lap."
Ron Dennis: "This was an eventful race for many people. Mika had some brake balance problems which reflected in some of his lap times. His eventual retirement was due to a failure of an electrical control unit, the cause of which we have yet to discover. Mark losing a place right at the end was somewhat disappointing but that's motor racing."