MONACO, MONTE CARLO, June 3, 2000 - If there is one thing above all others required to qualify a Formula One car well around the sinewy streets of Monaco, it is efficient, effective levels of downforce. Unfortunately, Lucky Strike Reynard BAR...
MONACO, MONTE CARLO, June 3, 2000 - If there is one thing above all others required to qualify a Formula One car well around the sinewy streets of Monaco, it is efficient, effective levels of downforce. Unfortunately, Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Ricardo Zonta both struggled during qualifying for tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix with a lack of such downforce on their cars. As a result, they were able to secure only 17th and 20th places respectively on the grid. Villeneuve's efforts were also hindered with a suspected engine problem on his first run, which forced him to run back to the pits - a distance of some 1.9 kms from where the car stopped - and swap to his spare chassis. Zonta's first-ever experience of the tricky Monaco circuit has seen him gain confidence with every lap and, despite his disappointing starting position for tomorrow's race, he has so far thoroughly enjoyed the "Monaco experience".
Fastest lap: 1:21.848
"I had a problem on my first run and had to run back to the pits, but it was no problem. Unfortunately, the spare car had been sitting in the sun and it was quite hot when I climbed into it. My first run was okay, but on my second, someone spun and I did a slow out lap with the result that the tyre pressures dropped. On my next run, I spun, but I had enough fuel for a final attempt. Unfortunately, on the way into the pits, I was stopped at the weighbridge and there wasn't enough time left to go out again. Quite honestly, whether it's 17th or 14th position makes very little difference. We can afford to take risks in the race tomorrow and just see what happens."
Fastest lap: 1:22.324
"I had fun driving here today. For me, it was actually quite a good qualifying session because my times were close to Jacques' throughout. The only problem is that we don't have enough downforce on the car and that cost us. I drove on the limit of the car every time I was on the track, so I enjoyed myself today despite the result."
MALCOLM OASTLER, Technical Director, British American Racing:
"We've had a bit of a rough day, really. We don't know exactly what the problem was with Jacques' race car, but he lost his first run and then had to switch to the spare chassis for the rest of qualifying. De la Rosa spun while Jacques was on a run and he had to come in for a new set of tyres since the original set had cooled too much. Then he was unable to go out for what should have been his final run when he was stopped at the pit lane entrance for a normal weight check. Effectively, he had only two qualifying runs instead of the normal four. Ricardo had a reasonably straightforward qualifying session but, as a team, we didn't get a lot of speed out of our cars here today and he suffered for that. He did a good job for his first time here."