NURBURGRING, GERMANY, May 21, 2000 - A waterlogged Grand Prix of Europe failed to yield any points for Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta today. As has become the norm in recent races, Villeneuve made an...
NURBURGRING, GERMANY, May 21, 2000 - A waterlogged Grand Prix of Europe
failed to yield any points for Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers
Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta today. As has become the norm in
recent races, Villeneuve made an excellent start, charging up from his
ninth-place position on the starting grid to fifth by the first corner.
With the rain falling heavily and track conditions deteriorating rapidly,
the team called its drivers in slightly early for their first scheduled
stops for fuel and a change to wet tyres. Both men ran then strongly in
their second stints. Villeneuve climbed as high as seventh before being
forced to retire from the race on lap 46 with a mechanical problem, while
Zonta made his second scheduled stop on lap 50, but spun off the track
three laps later while in 11th place.
"I don't know what happened. I was coming in for my second pit stop and on my in lap I was told just to bring the car in and switch off - I guess there must have been a problem that showed up on the telemetry. The conditions were very difficult once it started to rain hard because you just couldn't see much. They told me on the radio that (Mika) Hakkinen was coming up behind me but I just had to try and guess where he was and where the braking points were by the grass and the curbs at the side of the track. It was a disappointing result because, once again, we were on course for a points finish." RICARDO ZONTA
"For some reason, I couldn't get the revs high enough to make a good start and then I was stuck behind Herbert until the first pit stop, when it had started to rain hard. After the change, the car was good and I could race strongly, but then, after my second stop, I started to have problems with the downshift on my car. The rear wheels locked up as I braked and downshifted at one point, I spun off into the gravel and that was it. All in all, a bad weekend." CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing
"Jacques did an absolutely amazing job. He made a brilliant start, but was called in for his pit stop one lap too late, which lost him perhaps 20 seconds. We were very pleased to see how competitive he was in today's very difficult conditions compared with the others out there. I'm very disappointed for the team by the outcome of today's race because it was a lost opportunity. We just have to put this one behind us now and get on with our preparations for the next race." TAKEFUMI HOSAKA, Honda F1 Project Leader
"Jacques made another fantastic start and it was good to see him running comfortably in fifth position before the rain came. Around mid-distance, we noticed a warning on his engine related to a valve problem. We took the decision to end his race as a precaution. After two unfortunate races in a row, we must now review everything and identify where we can make improvements for the next race."