STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Austrian Grand Prix - A1-Ring Saturday 25th July: QUALIFYING Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'Naturally I'm pleased with our performance today. It was a solid team effort in judging when to be out and to...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Austrian Grand Prix - A1-Ring Saturday 25th July: QUALIFYING
Paul Stewart, Managing Director:
'Naturally I'm pleased with our performance today. It was a solid team effort in judging when to be out and to make sure we were running right at the end of the session. The wet conditions worked well for us but regardless of the weather, we always felt we were capable of at least a top 10 position in qualifying based on our 5th place in Friday's practice. Rubens was looking at an even higher spot but was held up by another car on his last lap. I guess that's the luck of the draw. Jos was a little unfortunate with his strategy but despite not being able to take full advantage of the drying track, he was running as high as third at one point towards the end. He also did a good job today.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director:
'We have been working hard at achieving a better balance between the aerodynamic and mechanical set-up of the car. These qualities are important in both wet and dry conditions and the car is working much better than, for example, the British Grand Prix. Even though we did not get a good run on new tyres and low fuel this morning, we have a good dry set-up and Bridgestone look like having good tyres for the race whatever the conditions.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport:
'It goes without saying that the key to a good grid position was to be on your quickest lap at the very end of the session. Rubens was very close but caught traffic, however his penultimate lap was good enough for fifth - the same start position as last year. Jos finished a little earlier than the optimum and his position (12th) reflects that. Though the conditions played such a major role this afternoon we were still confident of a top ten start and competitive running in the dry this weekend is encouraging for the race. Both drivers used the Series 5 engines today and will race it for the first time tomorrow.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/04 Position: 5th Best time: 1:31.005
'It was a complete lottery out there. On my last lap I was four tenths up on the previous lap in the first sector before I got held up by traffic. I guess I might have been looking at second or third. But overall, if I take a step back and recognise that in those conditions, you have to be running at the right time like we were, we have done extremely well. We have moved from 16th in the morning to qualify fifth and that takes some doing in any conditions. I'm absolutely overjoyed for the whole team, it was a superb effort by everybody today. I'm looking forward to being at the sharp end of the grid for the race.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Position: 12th Best time: 1:32.099
'If I had been told yesterday that I would qualify 12th I would have been pleased. However with the conditions the way they were and the circuit getting drier all the time, it was a matter of being on the track at the right time. If I had gone out for my final run one or two minutes later I could have been in the top 10 for sure. I'm confident for the race and today's qualifying almost guarantees an interesting Sunday.'