Barcelona, May/ 29/ 1999 1999 SPANISH GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING Mika makes it five Taking pole position for the fifth time in the five GP races to be contested this year, Mika Hakkinen only narrowly defeated the Ferrari of Eddie Irvine and...
Barcelona, May/ 29/ 1999 1999 SPANISH GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
Mika makes it five
Taking pole position for the fifth time in the five GP races to be contested this year, Mika Hakkinen only narrowly defeated the Ferrari of Eddie Irvine and the sister McLaren of his team mate David Coulthard in an intense session of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona. The advantage which several drivers were able to gain due to the choice of Bridgestone's Soft tyre may not, however, be maintained in Sunday's race, when those who selected the Medium tyre could have an advantage in terms of degradation. Nevertheless, it appears that both types of tyre will allow a one-stop strategy, though this may depend on teams' different tactics, individual driving styles and the vagaries of the weather in northern Spain.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Many drivers have chosen the Soft specification because it has enough extra grip to make the difference for qualifying. We estimate that difference, for qualifying, at between 0.3 and 0.4 second. As we suggested in our race preview, the drivers who have chosen to qualify and race on the Soft option may have to be concerned about tyre degradation in the race, especially if the temperatures remain high."
Mark Slade, Engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "Unlike some other teams we found the grip of the track did not increase for us today, and we struggled again because we had as many problems as we had yesterday. We made quite radical set-up changes during this morning session, none of which helped us to find a better solution. In the end we basically reverted to the set-up we had here last week. According to Mika, this did not make the car feel better, although it did improve the lap times. Certainly most of today's result is down to Mika who did a fantastic job. Our main objective now is to find good consistency for tomorrow's race. I believe that the performance of the tyres during the race will mostly depend on the weather, the higher temperatures and track conditions, all of which have changed considerably since last week's test"
Gabriele Dellicolli, Engineer, Red Bull Sauber Petronas Team: "Due to various problems yesterday we didn't do many laps and therefore had to start getting the car sorted today, so we started with the settings from the test last week. The problems have been the same for everyone: strong winds yesterday and much higher temperatures today. This morning we worked quite well and found a good balance in the tyres."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 22:-24: 24:-26: Sunny - dry Afternoon 28:-31: 33:-40: Sunny - dry