STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 German Grand Prix - Hockenheim Saturday 1st August: QUALIFYING Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'Rubens did a good job today. We worked through various set-up changes in an effort to get the best out of the...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 German Grand Prix - Hockenheim
Saturday 1st August: QUALIFYING
Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'Rubens did a good job today. We worked through various set-up changes in an effort to get the best out of the car and seem to have got it right when it counted. I think Rubens' eventual position on the grid was about the best we could have hoped for. However, had it not been for the interruption caused by traffic at the stadium towards the end, Rubens looked like grabbing one more place further up the grid. We made significant progress from this morning. Jos had a more difficult time with the changes he made to set-up. He put in a pretty good first lap but could not keep the momentum going. It looks like there are a variety of strategies being used in terms of tyre choice so it could be an interesting race.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director: 'Some big set-up changes overnight and running several laps on used tyres this morning has given us a good direction to head in for the race. Optimising the car for one lap of qualifying on new tyres required further changes throughout the session. These modifications proved to be quite successful with Rubens in particular as he improved with every outing. The SF-2 high speed aerodynamic package worked well with the Series 5 engine to provide us with maximum speeds at the top end of the time sheets. However we still have some work to do to improve the mid-corner balance and traction. Looking at the heavy rain which accompanied the start of the Formula 3000 race indicates that we may be similarly affected by the weather tomorrow - something the drivers will not be looking forward to at a circuit like Hockenheim.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport: 'We were hoping to maintain the overall improvement we had seen in Austria and therefore this afternoon's performance fell short of our expectations. Realistically we felt that a top ten grid position was possible here. This is the first race were Series 5 engines will be run throughout the weekend and from our point of view we are encouraged by the performance of our engines on what is a very demanding circuit.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/04 Position: 13th Best time: 1:44.776
'There is no doubt that I lost a position towards the end because Ralf Schumacher wasn't aware that I was making a fast approach at the entrance to the stadium. He had slowed down but his car was still on the racing line. I thought that maybe if he had a problem he should have gone off line. It caused an unnecessary distraction because I knew I was on a quick lap. It was a disappointing end to what was a good qualifying session for me. We found some improvement in the car from this morning particularly in the area of traction. I tried to do the best job possible but I was annoyed with the way it finished. If you look at my sector times on that last flying lap I would have gained a position on the grid.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Position: 19th Best time: 1:45.623
'We still haven't found the ideal set-up for the car. I have been struggling throughout the weekend to get the balance just right. We have improved the car from yesterday but not enough. It didn't make things better that I locked up on my last flying lap and dropped two places in the closing seconds of the session. Now all I can do is to hope for a reliable race. Rain is forecast - that may also help! '