Australian GP Stewart race report

Melbourne, Sunday 7th March, 1999 STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES Australian Grand Prix: Race Stewart-Ford driver Rubens Barrichello finished fifth in the brand new SF3, despite a 10- second stop-go penalty and despite having to start the race...

Melbourne, Sunday 7th March, 1999

STEWART-FORD NOTES & QUOTES Australian Grand Prix: Race

Stewart-Ford driver Rubens Barrichello finished fifth in the brand new SF3, despite a 10- second stop-go penalty and despite having to start the race in his spare car from the pit lane. Both cars had a fire on the starting grid caused by an oil leak from the engine onto the exhausts. This meant that Johnny Herbert was unable to start the race.

RUBENS BARRICHELLO Car No.16 (SF3-01) Position: 5th (two points)

'Obviously I'm happy to score two points but I'm also a little upset because I felt like I could have won the race. The 10 second penalty was tough because I had nowhere else to go when I overtook Michael Schumacher under the yellow flags. Something happened ahead of the pack, Michael slowed and I went to the right of him to avoid him. The car handled fantastically. I feel like it's going to be a good year.'

JOHNNY HERBERT Car No.17 (SF3-03) Did not start

'It's very frustrating that both cars should be struck down on the starting grid. For me it's a bad way to end a very promising weekend. However, this race tells us that we have a very competitive car and we have cause for optimism for the rest of the season.'

PAUL STEWART, SGP Deputy Chairman

'It seems a little odd to say this but there are mixed emotions in the garage because of the 'what if' scenario. Had Rubens started from his original grid position (fourth) there is every chance that he would have won the race. Nonetheless I'm extremely proud of the team's efforts this weekend. It's a credit to everyone in the Stewart-Ford team that Rubens was able to drive the race of the day. It was bad luck for Johnny after his excellent performances throughout the weekend.'

GARY ANDERSON, SGP Technical Director

'Rubens put the drama on the grid behind him to drive the race of his life in the spare car. He had to endure a fuel-rig malfunction on his first stop, he had a 10 second penalty which was probably a bit harsh. He re-stopped and re-fuelled and still brought home two points for the team.'

NICK HAYES, F1 Programme Director, Cosworth Racing

'What an amazing roller coaster of high and lows and what a drive from Rubens! We still don't know exactly why there was an oil leak which caused the fires in both cars on the starting grid. We have to get back to base and take a closer look.'

NEIL RESSLER, Vice-President, Research & Vehicle Technology, Ford

'The race illustrated that the form shown throughout the weekend was no mistake. After the problems on the grid Rubens had to start in the spare car and it was the beginning of a tremendous fight back for him to finish fifth. Today's efforts show the competitiveness of the new car and the Ford Cosworth V10 CR-1 engine and it bodes well for the rest of the season for the whole Stewart-Ford team.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello