Belgian GP Friday Stewart notes

STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Belgian Grand Prix - Spa Francorchamps Friday 28th August: FREE PRACTICE Paul Stewart, Managing Director: "An encouraging day. Both drivers reported being comfortable with the car. The data we ...

STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Belgian Grand Prix - Spa Francorchamps

Friday 28th August: FREE PRACTICE

Paul Stewart, Managing Director:

"An encouraging day. Both drivers reported being comfortable with the car. The data we collected at last week's Silverstone test seems to have applied very well here. Both drivers worked through various set-up changes which allowed us to develop the car systematically throughout the two sessions. Rubens' programme was thrown slightly awry by a puncture in the afternoon caused by debris on the track. It meant that we couldn't follow completely the schedule we had devised involving tyres and fuel loads particularly towards the end. Nonetheless, we are confident that if qualifying is run in dry conditions, we can achieve a competitive position."

Alan Jenkins, Technical Director:

"Not a bad session really. Following the Silverstone test we arrived with a different approach to the spring/damper set-up which was used on both cars. The car seems to be more consistent in the medium downforce aerodynamic set-up required at this circuit and the drivers felt reasonably good about the balance of the car. Rubens also tested a revised rear suspension geometry which he liked and this will also be used by Jos tomorrow. A cut tyre during the session meant that we did not run another new set at the end on Rubens' car. It is therefore encouraging that his lap time was close to the two Benettons."

Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport:

"The team is using Series 5 engines all weekend and we are happy with the performance so far. Both Rubens and Jos commented on the smoothness and driveability of the engine which is obviously of prime importance, especially here at Spa."

Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/04 Laps: 26 Best time: 1:54.433

"I'm reasonably happy with the balance and the overall feel of the car, much more than I normally am on the Friday of a race weekend. I am more comfortable than I have been for the last four races. It means that I am able to attack the car a lot more which is very important at Spa. For the car to work straight out of the blocks like it has today is quite encouraging. With further improvements to set-up tomorrow, we can look forward to a solid qualifying."

Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Laps: 28 Best time: 1:55.263

"We have done a great amount of work today and covered a lot of ground. The set-up now is very different from what it was this morning. I'm reasonably happy with the car but we still have some way to go. I still have a slight understeer problem in certain sections of the circuit which is costing me a lot of time. If we can find a solution for that I should be able to get a good grid position. We still have time before tomorrow's qualifying to test a few more things."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Rubens Barrichello , Paul Stewart
Teams Benetton