A weekend of great promise for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda ended in disappointment when both cars failed to get away at the start and retired almost immediately, thus ending Jordan's achievement of scoring points in every Grand Prix held so far...
A weekend of great promise for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda ended in disappointment when both cars failed to get away at the start and retired almost immediately, thus ending Jordan's achievement of scoring points in every Grand Prix held so far this season.
'The launch control system didn't work so the engine stalled,' said Trulli. 'The system wasn't working properly during the warm-up this morning and, although we made some adjustments, it clearly wasn't enough. I was pushed into the pit lane and re-started the race behind the Safety Car. I was shown some blue flags as I was one lap down, but then a black flag (disqualification) for leaving the pit lane while the exit light was red. I am very disappointed.'
Frentzen was also left on the grid when the red lights went out to signal the start of the race.
'The gearbox broke at the start and totally jammed the gears,' said Frentzen. 'We tried to fix the problem but couldn't, so that was it. I'm very disappointed as the car felt very good and well balanced this morning.'
Problems for other teams meant that Jordan continues to hold fourth place in the Constructors' Championship.
'After the warm-up I really felt that we were in good shape for the race as both cars ran well with good balance,' said Eddie Jordan.
'Unfortunately it wasn't to be as Heinz had a gearbox problem that jammed the gears so his car couldn't move, and Jarno's engine stalled after the launch control failed. It would appear that the revs were possibly too low for the launch control to activate, which was a fault by the team and not Honda. Jarno had to retire after being shown a black flag for leaving the pit lane to join the race when the pit exit light was red. It's very disappointing for both drivers and we will be having a debrief to establish the reasons for today's poor performance.'
The sixth round of the championship was won by David Coulthard after the McLaren driver, starting from seventh on the grid, took advantage of an incident between Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari as they fought for the lead. Montoya eventually went out with hydraulics problems while Schumacher finished second when team orders allowed him to move ahead of Rubens Barrichello on the last lap. Ralf Schumacher lost second place when his Williams suffered brake trouble. Mika Hakkinen's McLaren was also stranded on the grid with a launch control problem. Exactly half of the 22 starters failed to reach the end of the 71-lap race.
The seventh round of the FIA Formula One World Championship will be the Monaco Grand Prix on 27 May.