Australia GP Stewart-Ford Firday Report

Melbourne, Friday 5th March, 1999 STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES Australian Grand Prix: Free Practice Both Stewart-Ford drivers finished in the top five in today's practice session for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello was...

Melbourne, Friday 5th March, 1999

STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES Australian Grand Prix: Free Practice

Both Stewart-Ford drivers finished in the top five in today's practice session for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

Rubens Barrichello was third fastest, behind the two McLaren-Mercedes drivers, while Stewart-Ford newcomer Johnny Herbert was an excellent fifth quickest on his team debut.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-04)

'This is a good boost for the team. The target I set myself for this race was to be between one or two seconds quicker than last year's qualifying time and the way the car feels at the moment, that is very achievable. There are improvements to come as this car is very sensitive to change - which is a big step on from last year. We're in good shape to attack again tomorrow.'

JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-03)

'I'm reasonably happy with the way things went, but the good thing is there is a lot more time left in the car. After all its the first time it's ever run at a Grand Prix meeting. We'll get to work tonight to try and achieve a better balance in the qualifying trim for tomorrow. At this stage it looks promising.'

PAUL STEWART, SGP Deputy Chairman

'We are very pleased that both cars ran reliably and competitively throughout both sessions. Obviously it's early days yet, but it's the first time we have run against all the other teams since the restructuring of the company, and it's good to be at the right end of the time sheets.'

MARTIN WHITAKER, Director, Ford Racing, Europe

'Today saw the Grand Prix debut of the brand new Ford-Cosworth V10 CR-1. The engines in both cars performed faultlessly, and obviously third and fifth places in this session is most encouraging. After the problems we experienced in the first of the two Barcelona tests, today's showing was very heartening. Tomorrow's qualifying will be the first real test of the new engine, but after today there is a real feeling of optimism in the whole Stewart-Ford team.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Mercedes , McLaren