STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Italian Grand Prix - Monza Saturday 12th September: QUALIFYING Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'As our positions during the early part of qualifying indicate, we would have preferred the track to...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Italian Grand Prix - Monza
Saturday 12th September: QUALIFYING
Paul Stewart, Managing Director:
'As our positions during the early part of qualifying indicate, we would have preferred the track to remain damp for the whole session. A wet qualifying was always going to be our best chance. Both drivers complained of understeer as the track began to dry. The understeer is something they grappled with yesterday and we hope to source the problem during Sunday morning's warm-up. With the weather likely to be fine tomorrow we will look to run reliably and devise a strategy which enables us to make inroads as the race develops.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director:
'The conditions were pretty awful in this morning's session but we found a good balance with the car which allowed Rubens' renowned wet-weather prowess to show through with some good lap times. Jos was also holding down a position inside the top 10. At the start of qualifying the car also performed well relative to the rest of the field and after the first runs on a very damp track, Rubens was as high as fifth place. With little time to make adjustments to suit the changing conditions, we reduced downforce and made some other small set-up changes for the final effort. The track was still not completely dry on the normal lines and the car begun to understeer which meant that we were unable to maintain our positions. Again we feel that a top 10 grip position was within reach but the uncertain nature of the wet-to-dry session produced surprisingly close lap times and a mixed grid. For instance, the previous race winner is just behind Rubens while one place ahead is one Williams, the other is on the front row.The Series 6 engine performed well with both drivers remarking favourably about the improvements in power and driveability.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport:
'We're happy with the introduction of the Series 6 engine. Both drivers reported an improvement in engine performance and both engines ran well all day. We will be reverting to Series 5 engines for the race tomorrow.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/02 Position: 13th Best time: 1:27.247
'Early on the track was still quite wet, there were a few puddles and no rubber on the circuit at all. I was pleased with my first outing which put me 8th and was at home in the conditions. But I developed more understeer towards the end. The changes we made to the set- up had little effect and I lost too much time in the high speed corners like Parabolica. There are a lot of overtaking points here, so let's hope we can take advantage of that in tomorrow's race.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Position: 17th Best time: 1:28.212
'What can I say ? Like everybody else we have not had an opportunity to do enough running in the dry this weekend. It was a shame it wasn't wet for qualifying because I think both Rubens and myself would have been higher up. The balance of the car just wasn't right. Like yesterday I had too much understeer and hopefully we can do something about it before tomorrow. The new Series 6 engine we used today felt good.' T-car: SF-2/01