F1 Saturday News 1999-10-30

Eddie reckons 50-50 chance of title Eddie Irvine has put his chances of winning the title at 50-50 after qualifying today. "I can still do it but it is 50-50. It is going to be a weird race" "I have got the 'A' team on my side in Michael and...

Eddie reckons 50-50 chance of title

Eddie Irvine has put his chances of winning the title at 50-50 after qualifying today.

"I can still do it but it is 50-50. It is going to be a weird race"

"I have got the 'A' team on my side in Michael and Ross Brawn. In Michael I have got the best guy, that's for sure. I was pushing like hell because I thought I could have got third. When you push, sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. I have got a bit of a sore neck, but it could have been worse. An injury could have been an issue. I know what I have got to do tomorrow. Losing a position to Frentzen is not ideal. All I know is if Hakkinen wins then coming second will be no good for me, but if he comes second to Michael then I have got to finish fourth. That's what I am aiming to do although I know that McLaren will be playing games. Normally getting past Frentzen would not be an issue, but everybody has got their own agendas here."

Schumacher was puzzled by Irvines form in qualifying: "I don't know why Eddie is not getting to grips with the circuit. If there are any number one parts for the car he has them although the best way for me to help him and Ferrari is to win tomorrow's race"

Mika on Alesi tangle

Mika Hakkinen has spoken about the tangle with Alesi during qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

"I don't know what words I can use, it is an unusual situation when someone overtakes you backwards when you are coming out of the last chicane. He has enough experience to know better"

"I was coming out of the chicane to start the run on my lap and couldn't go fast because Frentzen was up ahead of me. Jean was on a fast lap going into the chicane, saw me and braked and decided to run across the chicane rather than run into the back of me. I turned in sharply and spun as he went across in front of me. I could have improved my lap time but I didn't get the chance. It is difficult to blame Jean as it was both drivers involved in the whole situation." Mika also spoke on his strategy for the race.

"I am going to follow the lights, when they change I will start planning. I am not allowing myself to relax just because of Eddie's grid position. It is going to be a tough race tomorrow and I want to do the best possible job, have good tactics for fuel stops and do the maximum. The start is going to be a big thing."

Villeneuve feels sorry for Mika

Jacques Villeneuve has spoken on Mika's situation in the world drivers championship.

"I would not want to be in Mika’s shoes. In his mind he has won it and then he gets here and he is actually behind in the championship. It’s a very difficult situation to be in.In his mind he will feel ‘I have been had’ and Eddie is laughing."

Hirotoshi Honda speaks on Japanese drivers

Hirotoshi Honda has spoken on the prospect of getting a top-flight Formula One driver from his own country.

"Look at motorcycle racing, we have very good riders. If we have more time, it may be possible to produce good drivers". On the current drivers coming through, he said "We are waiting for somebody to emerge".

It has emerged that current Arrows driver, Tora Takagi,has 2 more years contracted to Arrows - but not necessarily as a race driver. It is possible that he will be relegated to test driver. Tom Walkinshaw said this week that there was a "good chance" of him keeping his drive. "We are still talking and we will decide by the end of November."

Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Mika Hakkinen , Jacques Villeneuve , Tora Takagi , Ross Brawn , Tom Walkinshaw
Teams Ferrari , McLaren