MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 5 1999 -- British American Racing had its first taste of the 1999 F1 season with the initial two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuve finished the day in 16th position with a time of...
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 5 1999 -- British American Racing had its first taste of the 1999 F1 season with the initial two practice sessions of the Australian Grand Prix. Jacques Villeneuve finished the day in 16th position with a time of one minute, 34.69 seconds (1:34.69) and reported an encouraging start to the season. Young Brazilian Ricardo Zonta's first encounter with the Melbourne track was cut short when he retired early in the second session with a problem with the car. He finished in 22nd position with a lap time of 1:38.07.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE -- 1:34.69 "We've done quite a bit of work with the car and all is starting well. Looking at the times, except the first two cars, the rest of the field is fairly tight and our position is encouraging. The car has gone well, feels very neutral and is easy to drive. We've had no problems and look forward to Saturday."
RICARDO ZONTA -- 1:38.07 "We had some problems with the car in the second session so I couldn't complete the round. We should have completed more laps to be sure of a good set-up, so I am quite disappointed with the day. I would have liked to be able to do some more laps to get to know the circuit and improve the set up."
CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing "I am very happy to have got through this day. Jacques was able to complete 25 laps but it's disappointing for Ricardo because he is the one that needed to run more on a circuit that he doesn't know. I am proud of the team since in this first significant Grand Prix, we have met all of our objectives. We hope to do a lot better Saturday.
BRUNO MICHEL, Managing Director, Supertec "Considering this is the first day for the new team, everything went very smoothly. It was a shame that Ricardo did not get enough laps done today, but we are confident that Saturday's qualifying will go well for both him and Jacques."