A dramatic Belgian Grand Prix saw Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda score a championship point when Jean Alesi finished sixth. Jarno Trulli lost fifth place when he stopped with engine trouble four laps from the end. The race was run in two parts...
A dramatic Belgian Grand Prix saw Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda score a championship point when Jean Alesi finished sixth. Jarno Trulli lost fifth place when he stopped with engine trouble four laps from the end. The race was run in two parts after being stopped due to an accident on lap four.
Having made a strong start, Alesi was holding ninth place when Luciano Burti's Prost tangled with Eddie Irvine's Jaguar going into the 190 mph Blanchimont corner. Burti ran off the road and rammed a tyre barrier. The Brazilian was removed to hospital with concussion and the race stopped while the tyre barrier was replaced.
Alesi held seventh place after the restart and had to fend off a strong attack from Ralf Schumacher's Williams during the closing laps.
'It's a very good result for me,' said Alesi. 'When I signed for Jordan, I understood the team needed points. I was under a lot of pressure because, even though I knew I could do a good job, I also knew it is very hard to score points in Formula One at the moment. So, having the reliability, I was able to do it in a race like this. It was a fantastic fight and I hope this is the first of many points for me and Jordan.'
Trulli, having been slow away at the first start, made a better getaway second time round and was immediately in the points, running in sixth place. Both drivers successfully made two scheduled stops and Trulli seemed secure in fifth place until the engine problem forced him to stop on lap 36.
'I felt really upset when the car stopped,' said Trulli. 'I had fifth place, no problem, but it was not to be. It had been a good race for me: I was attacking, I had been very aggressive at one point. I was side-by side with two cars at the end of the straight and I overtook them. Very exciting! I was pulling away from everybody and then the engine just went. Very disappointing.'
The point for sixth moved Jordan-Honda into joint fifth place in the Constructors' Championship.
'Considering how badly we did during qualifying, it is amazing to come away with a point,' said Eddie Jordan. 'It's something I hadn't expected. The race seemed to get better and better for us. Jean made a brilliant start in the first part and Jarno in the second. We were looking good in fifth and sixth places and then Jarno went out. It was a great shame because, for me, Michael Schumacher apart, the people who were outstanding today were Jarno, Jean and Giancarlo Fisichella (who finished third). Jean is such a fighter, holding on to sixth place at the end. That's exactly why we chose him.'