Australia GP qualifying news

Nakano named as Jordan test driver Surprisingly, Shinji Nakano has been named as test driver for Jordan Grand Prix this year. The decision is believed to revolve around keeping hold of Mugen-Honda engines, as there deal expires at the end of...

Nakano named as Jordan test driver

Surprisingly, Shinji Nakano has been named as test driver for Jordan Grand Prix this year. The decision is believed to revolve around keeping hold of Mugen-Honda engines, as there deal expires at the end of this season.

Hakkinen takes last minute pole

Mika Hakkinen took pole position in the dying moments of qualifying for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix. "I knew I had to get it right and managed it. When David went fastest I knew I had only one lap left and it is never easy doing better on just one lap".

David Coulthard was upset not to take pole "I am very disappointed not to be on pole and I don't think the gap between myself and Mika is a true reflection. I am surprised at the gap we have over the rest but now it is up to me to make the best of that in the race and try and beat Mika". When asked about team orders, the pair joked about deciding whether to or not.

Schumacher 'not worried'

Michael Schumacher, 1.3 seconds adrift of the McLarens, has admitted that Ferrari are struggling at Melbourne. "We have had problems this weekend, i t is not frustrating because we know the potential of the car is there. I am not sure we can fix the problem overnight. But I am not worried because there are plenty of races left"

Hill blames traffic

Damon Hill said that traffic held him up badly and the 9th he achieved is not indicative of what the car was capable of "The car is capable of doing a lot better but I was badly held up with traffic. I never had an opportunity to find out what I could do with the car". His team mate, Heinz Harald Frentzen said "It is great to be up in front on the grid".

Coulthard tops free practice

David Coulthard has set the pace in first practice for the Australian Grand Prix. His team mate, despite a crash, finished second. Stewarts and Jordans completed the top 6, with Schumacher 1.5 adrift of the pace. New entrants to F1, BAR, didn't have an impressive start with Villeneuve 16th and Zonta in last place behind the Minardi's of Gene and Badoer.

Wurz is a heavy hitter

Alexander Wurz has come top of the tables as the heaviest driver in F1. He has weighed in at 82.5kg. The lightest driver is Luca Badoer at 58.5kg.

Mercedes denies AMG Junior F1 squad

Mercedes has acted to squash rumours that AMG was to set up an F1 junior squad for the marque.

Whiting tells teams - Benetton is legal

Charlie Whiting has told all teams that the Benetton Front Torque Transfer system is legal. He did, however, tell them that if they disagreed they could appeal to the stewards at Australia this weekend.

-- Stephen M Baines http://www.motorsport.org.uk

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Alexander Wurz , Shinji Nakano , Damon Hill
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan