Nurburgring, Sunday 26th September, 1999 STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES European Grand Prix: Race (67 laps) Weather: Intermittent showers, sunny spells (Ambient temperature15-20 deg C, track temperature 15 deg C) Johnny Herbert claimed the first...
Nurburgring, Sunday 26th September, 1999
STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES European Grand Prix: Race (67 laps) Weather: Intermittent showers, sunny spells (Ambient temperature15-20 deg C, track temperature 15 deg C)
Johnny Herbert claimed the first ever victory for the Stewart-Ford team in today's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
Rubens Barrichello added further points to the team's tally by finishing third.
Johnny had started the race from 14th and Rubens 15th.
JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-05) How do you feel about giving the Stewart-Ford team its first victory? 'I'm absolutely over the moon. It's particularly pleasing for Jackie since this is the last year the team will carry his name. It's also a fantastic result for Ford Motor Company because they showed a big commitment by purchasing the team earlier this year and have now stated their intention to win the World Championship with Jaguar Racing. A big credit also to my crew, Gary Anderson and my engineers - they did a great job.'
What was going through your mind when you were in the lead? 'I was just hoping and praying towards end that everything would hold together. I was able to relax a little since I had quite a gap down to Trulli. I was able to change the gears earlier and brake earlier and just concentrate on not putting too much strain on the car. After what was not a very good qualifying I had not expected to be top of the podium today. There is always an element of luck in a race and today was our day.'
RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04)
Another podium finish for you today? 'From the bottom of my heart I'm really happy for Johnny because he has had such a difficult time this season. However to be honest I have two hearts because even though I'm pleased for Johnny it would have been nice to have been the one to bring the Stewart-Ford team its first victory - particularly since this is my last season with them. But I don't want to take anything away from Johnny - he drove a really good race.'
You were close to claiming second place in the closing stages? 'I was trying so hard at the end to get past Trulli but just couldn't manage it. The only place I could overtake was at the Chicane but I had seen what had happened to Alesi and Irvine there and didn't want to risk too much.'
JACKIE STEWART, Stewart-Ford Chief Executive Officer 'Its difficult to describe how I feel. It's just tremendous for the whole team. This is undoubtedly the most important moment in my racing career. I have won Grands Prix, I have won World Championships, but to win as a Constructor is the highest emotion imaginable. The drivers made no mistakes at all. Our strategy was absolutely right. It was a complete team effort and every member of the team deserves equal praise. It is also a fitting reward for Ford and it justifies the confidence they have shown in us.'
PAUL STEWART, Stewart-Ford Chief Operating Officer 'To get a race win in less than three seasons is something the whole team can be justifiably proud of. Fortune may have been on our side somewhat but we did chose the right strategy - going with the hard tyres. The guys in the pit crew did an unbelievable job and we had two drivers who showed great commitment in tricky conditions. Who would have thought that two cars running tartan and a father and son wearing tartan trousers could win a Grand Prix.'
MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe 'Well done Johnny and Rubens and congratulations to everybody at Stewart Grand Prix, Cosworth Racing and Visteon. Ford's 175 Grand Prix victory is a phenomenal milestone and will serve as a great boost to everyone's confidence and morale for the future. We have all endured a very long spell without winning and everybody connected with Ford Motor Company can take credit for this victory. Johnny has stuck to his task throughout a difficult season and there could not have been a more popular winner today.'