Austrian GP Benetton Saturday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session at the A1-Ring ahead of Sunday's 2001 Austrian Grand Prix, with technical problems and traffic congestion blighting both drivers' most promising runs. Giancarlo...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a difficult qualifying session at the A1-Ring ahead of Sunday's 2001 Austrian Grand Prix, with technical problems and traffic congestion blighting both drivers' most promising runs. Giancarlo Fisichella was forced to abandon his third run with an engine problem and with the T-car set up for team-mate Jenson Button, he was unable to get out before the end of the session to improve on his earlier time. He lines up for the race in 19th place, with a fastest time of 1m12.644s.

Meanwhile, some late set-up changes by the team looked like giving Jenson a much-needed boost, but on his final run he locked his front brakes into the Remus Kurve and was unable to make further progress on his time. He lines up for the race in 21st position, with a best lap of 1m13.459s.

Giancarlo Fisichella: On my first run, there were yellow flags so I wasn't able to do anything with that and in fact, the second run was the only proper run I did.

"I thought I could make progress from that, but then on the third run I had a problem with the engine and also a little difficulty with the balance of the car, so I came in.

"I wanted to drive the T-Car but we didn't manage to make the changes in time for me to go out, which meant I couldn't work through my whole programme. It's a disappointment, but we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

Jenson Button: "The first run wasn't great as I made a mistake on the first corner, then the second one was okay but I hit a bit of traffic, which didn't help.

"On the last run I was trying to get a tow from one of the Williams and that seemed to be working quite well, but at the second turn I braked and the fronts just locked up and that was it - I went straight on. After that there was no point finishing the lap, as it was obviously gone at that stage."

Pat Symonds: "A difficult qualifying session for us today, which was fraught with a few more problems than normal!

"Giancarlo only managed two runs, as he felt his engine go tight on his third run and wisely abandoned the lap to come into the pits, but as the spare car was set up for Jenson, there wasn't enough time to get him out for a final run.

"In Jenson's case, he was making steady progress and making good set-up changes throughout, but on his last run he locked the brakes going into Turn 2 and lost any advantage he might have gained."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button
Teams Williams , Benetton