Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was a lottery, and the Benson and Hedges Jordan team was disappointingly far from the jackpot. The strategy did not work to the team's advantage. Both Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill went out too early and...
Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix was a lottery, and the Benson and Hedges Jordan team was disappointingly far from the jackpot. The strategy did not work to the team's advantage. Both Ralf Schumacher and Damon Hill went out too early and were therefore not able to take advantage of the drying conditions at the end of the session.
Ralf Schumacher ran on 'quattro' tyres (full wets) and Damon Hill on intermediates. Ralf was at one stage positioned in second place, but in the final minutes of the session was pushed down the grid, to finish in 9th place. Damon Hill will start from 15th place.
RALF SCHUMACHER CHASSIS 04 Best time 1.31.718 Best position 9th "We simply went out too early. By the time the circuit was better, my tyres were no longer good enough to put in a quick time. We made a mistake in our strategy, but it is a gamble, and sometimes you wait too long, sometimes you go too early. This time we got it wrong, so next time we will know better. I do not think it looks too bad for the race as I am confident that Salo and Barrichello will not be able to keep their positions."
DAMON HILL CHASSIS 03 Best time 1.32.718 Best position 15th "I am very disappointed as we missed a great opportunity today. You really have to finish your laps just as the session is ending - that is the first rule of wet-weather qualifying - and we did not do that. I finished a good few minutes before the end of the session which meant I was not able to show what we could do. I think we could have been in the top four, so it is hugely frustrating."
"The decision to go out earlier on in the session for two timed laps was fine. I wanted to see what the conditions were like and how the car felt. There was a slight chance it might rain harder again afterwards, so that decision was absolutely fine as it did not cost me anything and might have proved fortuitous. After that I decided to go out on intermediate tyres which was going to require all the laps I had left to get them up to temperature. What we miscalculated was when to go out for the second time; I just went too early. I need to discuss this with the team as we really need to get these things right. Starting from 15th on the grid means it will be difficult to score points, although not impossible, but since we are so desperate for points we really need to make better use of the opportunities like today's."