French GP Benetton race notes

Giancarlo Fisichella "I had a bad first lap because I touched Jos Verstappen's Arrows and lost a few positions as a result. I think I must have done a little damage, because something felt strange in the suspension and the car was odd under ...

Giancarlo Fisichella

"I had a bad first lap because I touched Jos Verstappen's Arrows and lost a few positions as a result. I think I must have done a little damage, because something felt strange in the suspension and the car was odd under braking, But things improved as the race wore on and it did not work out too badly for us. I am not too unhappy to have finished 11."

Jenson Button

"Giancarlo and I both got a lot of wheelspin at the start, but I passed Giancarlo and also got by Alesi at the hairpin. My first stop took a long time, which cost me a place, but the car was pretty good during the second stint. The engine started to cut before my second stop, and when I pitted Giancarlo was already there - not ideal, but because I had a fuel pressure problem I had no option but to come in at that moment. I had a small spin towards the end because I had lots of oversteer and I was pushing so hard that I flat-spotted a tyre and had to cope with a good deal of vibration in the final stint. Finally, something locked at the rear of the car and I slid off the road."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director

"We have shown a marked improvement at this race, although it ended a little disappointingly. We lost out in qualifying yesterday because we did not get the maximum out of the improvements that we introduced this weekend, so we were further down the grid than we should have been. Giancarlo was delayed at the start by his brush with erstappenΠand in fact both our drivers were trapped behind cars that were slower than ours. We decided to bring both cars in early after the first stint, in order to gain track position, and that paid off. Unfortunately when we later brought Giancarlo in for his second stop, it was at the same moment that Jenson had a fuel pressure problem and we had to bring him in on the same lap, but we knew we could turn them both around without losing any places. It did cost Jenson the chance of making further progress, however. Giancarlo actually picked up a place during his second stop, but both drivers suffered oversteer in the closing stages of the race. As a result, Giancarlo lost one position and Jenson had a spin. With our new race engine spec it was a shame not to get both our cars to the finish, but Jenson pulled up with a problem just before the end. We have not yet had chance to identify what went wrong. We have a test in Barcelona to look forward to and we now have more engines available, which will allow us to maximise the improvements that are coming. Although we are taking one small step at a time, we can look forward to some solid improvements in the second half of the season.

-Benetton

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Jos Verstappen , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Benetton