McNish reflects on France

Toyota's Allan McNish takes a look back at the French Grand Prix. "The French Grand Prix weekend was a little bit of a disappointment for me. I honestly thought that we would end up being in better shape than turned out to be the case." "We ...

Toyota's Allan McNish takes a look back at the French Grand Prix.

"The French Grand Prix weekend was a little bit of a disappointment for me. I honestly thought that we would end up being in better shape than turned out to be the case."

"We struggled a little bit with lack of traction from the start of the weekend, especially in the slower speed corners. That meant we could only qualify 16th and 17th. Also, I was suffering from a stomach bug on Saturday and I was away from the circuit by around 2.30pm trying to make sure that I felt okay for the race."

"It turned out to be very eventful. There was always something going on around me. I made a good start and managed to keep out of the trouble on lap 1. I benefited from a couple of retirements - Mika and I were 11th and 12th by the end of the first lap."

"For the first portion of the race I was running with Mika and had Jacques Villeneuve right behind me. I was quick at the right parts of the track and made sure that he could not get past me. He had a go a couple of times and, once, it was a bit tight into the Adelaide Hairpin. I could see him out of my peripheral vision as I turned-in and I think he locked up and just missed my rear wing."

"At my first pit stop there was a problem with my left front wheel, the nut would not go on properly, and I lost around five seconds, which dropped me to 14th."

"There seemed to be quite a lot of understeer on my second set of tyres but the third set was better and I was making ground again. The engine had been sounding a bit strange for 15 or 20 laps and it eventually failed. But that's the first one in a race this year!"

"Generally I think we picked the wrong tyre, but these things are unavoidable sometimes. You do your tyre evaluation on a Friday and then you make your decision based on what you have learned. The weather clouded over quite a bit after we had made our choice and there is only so much you can do to predict the weather. The other point is that the Magny-Cours surface is fairly temperature sensitive, but it's the same for everyone."

"It was unfortunate for Kimi Raikkonen that he locked up on my oil so close to his first Grand Prix win. But that's motor racing for you!"

"From the circuit I went straight up to the Toyota factory in Cologne and then it's back to Monaco for a couple of days before I return to Germany for Hockenheim."

"Finally, I have to congratulate Michael Schumacher on winning his fifth world title and equalling a record that Juan-Manuel Fanfio has held since 1957. I know that people say there are more races these days and that it is a different era, but it is still a mighty fine achievement. Five titles are a few too many if you ask me. I would settle for one!"

-toyota-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen , Allan McNish