There were no points for Jordan Grand Prix at the end of a thrilling but ultimately disappointing race as Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli, having run in the top three, suffered retirement and a controversial stop-go penalty. Heinz-Harald...
There were no points for Jordan Grand Prix at the end of a thrilling but ultimately disappointing race as Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli, having run in the top three, suffered retirement and a controversial stop-go penalty. Heinz-Harald Frentzen produced a storming drive as he charged through the field from 17th on the grid, the Jordan moving into third place after two pit stops. Frentzen survived a confusing period when the Safety Car was brought out to deal with a protester who had run unto the track, and a rain shower which affected certain parts of the track but not others. Frentzen was engaged in a thrilling battle with Coulthard's McLaren when the Jordan suddenly stopped with six laps to go. Despite losing a possible second place, Frentzen was elated with his drive.
'This was a truly memorable race,' said Frentzen. 'The car was running really well and I was having a great time passing people. I just hope the spectators enjoyed it as much as I did! Okay, it was very disappointing when the car suddenly stopped but we were able to show that we are running really competitively. It was good for the team after all their hard work on this latest version of the car and we can only build on that. No points today, but for sure there are many to come.'
Jarno Trulli was less happy after finishing ninth despite having been second at one stage. Having run in the top three throughout, Trulli was called into the pits for a ten-second stop-go. There was controversy over the precise reason for the penalty but the net result was to rob Trulli of an almost certain podium finish.
'It's a massive disappointment,' said Eddie Jordan. 'To have both cars in the top three at various stages and then to come away with nothing is a particularly bitter pill. Our pace looked to be very good but I'm disappointed for both drivers after such encouraging performances. Jarno is very upset over the stop-go because he believes he was wrongly penalised. We're currently looking into it.'
The race gave Rubens Barrichello, who started his F1 career with Jordan in 1993, his first victory after a skilful drive in the Ferrari from 18th place on the grid. The McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard finished second and third and closed to within two points of Michael Schumacher at the head of the championship after the Ferrari driver was eliminated yet again by a first corner collision.