<pre> Driver (Chassis) Warm-up Race Diniz (C19-04) 1:34.345 - 16th Retired on lap 43 Salo (C19-02) 1:33.967 - 10th 6th; disqualified Spare: (C19-01) </pre> Mika Salo finished a fighting...
<pre> Driver (Chassis) Warm-up Race Diniz (C19-04) 1:34.345 - 16th Retired on lap 43 Salo (C19-02) 1:33.967 - 10th 6th; disqualified Spare: (C19-01) </pre>
Mika Salo finished a fighting sixth in the Qantas Australian Grand Prix, but unfortunately was disqualified for a front wing infringement. Pedro Diniz retired with a transmission problem on the 43rd lap.
I made a good start and passed two or three cars, then I overtook Zonta at the second corner. Unfortunately he went to the outside at the next one and touched my rear wheel and he pushed me into the gravel. That damaged the nose, so eventually I had to make a stop to have it replaced. After that the car felt much better and my times were competitive, but unfortunately I had to stop with a transmission problem on the 43rd lap.
The car felt fantastic today! It’s such a shame I got stuck behind Villeneuve early on, because I was much quicker. He was costing me up to a second a lap while we were fighting, and I tried really hard to overtake. It was the same later with Zonta, but I managed to pull a good move on him. Once I had passed him I took a second off Fisichella and Villeneuve in one lap, but it’s really tough to pass round here. With just a little bit better fortune, I know we could have been third today, but in any case it's all academic because of our problem with the front wing.
Peter Sauber (Team Principal):
We were happy to score a point, although today we know that car and driver deserved much more. Mika lost a lot of time trapped behind Villeneuve in the early laps, and again at the end behind Villeneuve and Fisichella. Naturally we are disappointed to be disqualified, but we can take heart from the encouraging potential of the new SAUBER PETRONAS C19. We will be working very hard to realise it fully in Brazil.