2000 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING Melbourne, Saturday 11th March 2000 Mika Hakkinen Chassis 01 David Coulthard Chassis 02 T-car Chassis 03 West McLaren Mercedes drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will start the first race...
2000 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
Melbourne, Saturday 11th March 2000
Mika Hakkinen Chassis 01
David Coulthard Chassis 02
T-car Chassis 03
West McLaren Mercedes drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard will start the first race of the season from first and second on the grid -- the third year in a row they will occupy the front row at the Australian Grand Prix. Mika's fastest time was 1:30.556, while David set a time of 1:30.910.
'I'm very happy to start the season with a pole position, which is my third consecutive Australian Grand Prix pole. We had to change the engine this morning, so we only had a small amount of time to find an optimum qualifying set-up. However we managed to find a set-up which suited the conditions, went out at the right time and got the best out of the tyres. All in all a very good job by everybody.'
'After practice this morning I wasn't at all sure we were going to be able to qualify on the front row since we had to change an engine between the two sessions. I must admit I wasn't happy with the balance of the car during qualifying, but I was still pushing really hard. I lost the back of the car in the last minute of the session and went off and the car sustained some damage at the back.'
'Today's grid positions primarily were achieved as a result of the performance of the mechanics. They changed two engines simultaneously in 42 minutes to give the drivers essential but limited track time in the second session which was vital to the outcome of qualifying. The race is a different matter. The cars are not as we would like them to be, but I'm sure the engineers will focus hard on tomorrow. What ever the outcome its going to be four races before we can truly establish our competitiveness.'
'This pole position is a great reward for Mika and his team as they almost didn't get any track time in the morning sessions due to an engine problem. This should not have happened after our extensive testing programme and I would like to apologise to our guys who changed the engines in record time. David is second and did a good job. The best possible result in today's qualifying doesn't mean that we already have won tomorrow's race. We are in a good position to do so, but we are certainly not underestimating our strong competition mainly both Ferraris.'