STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Austrian Grand Prix - A1-Ring Friday 24th July: FREE PRACTICE * Both Rubens and Jos worked hard on finding the ideal set-up and perfect tyre choice for tomorrow's qualifying. In the closing minutes of ...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Austrian Grand Prix - A1-Ring
Friday 24th July: FREE PRACTICE
* Both Rubens and Jos worked hard on finding the ideal set-up and perfect tyre choice for tomorrow's qualifying. In the closing minutes of the afternoon's session Rubens set the 5th fastest time. Jos was troubled by yellow flags and traffic when he was on a quick lap towards the end. He finished the session in 16th position. New Series 5 engines will be used in both cars for qualifying.
Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'We are pleasantly encouraged with our performance particularly with Rubens' time towards the end. Some of the work we've done since Silverstone has helped to improve the car's competitiveness. I think the warm track temperature also assisted the handling characteristics. Jos did well but was not able to assess fully the potential of fresh tyres because he was interrupted by yellow flags and then got caught up in traffic when on another quick run. If we can secure a top 10 qualifying position it would be terrific. It's difficult to know exactly where we stand because obviously we don't know what other teams are running, but we've made a good start to the weekend.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director: 'After a lot of work back at the factory and in the wind tunnel, we came to Austria with some new ideas on the set-up and some specific directions to head in. So far some of it is working - and quite well. This, plus the fact that Bridgestone has a tyre which is working effectively in the hot conditions, gives us some confidence for both qualifying and the race.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport: 'After last year's good showing here at the A1-Ring we are happy to see that the SF-2 continues to perform in a similar way. We haven't experienced any problems with either engine during today's two practice sessions. We will be fitting fresh Series 5 engines on both cars for tomorrow's qualifying and will for the first time use this latest specification of engines for Sunday's race.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/04 Laps: 35 Best time: 1:14.302
'The car feels so much better than it did at Silverstone. I'm looking forward to tomorrow because it looks like we can have a better qualifying session than we have been having lately. I paid more attention to detail today concentrating on getting the relationship between the front and rear suspension spot on. For that reason I spent more time on old tyres than normal but when we ran fresh tyres you can see how much of an improvement we made. I'm happy with the balance of the car and I think we can go out and put in a really good qualifying time to put us in good shape for the race.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Laps: 35 Best time: 1:15.231
'We have done a lot of work today with different set-ups and tyres. As a result we have a much better idea of tyre choice for qualifying. Rubens used a different set-up than me and clocked a very quick time towards the end. We will probably use something along the same lines for qualifying. I also tested a new design to the front wing for the first time today and it does seem to provide me with a lot more downforce which is important here at the A1-Ring'.