BELGIAN GRAND PRIX [30.08.98] LADY LUCK FAILS TO SMILE IN BELGIUM SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM, August 30, 1998 -- Luck counts for a great deal in motor racing. Unfortunately, it deserted Toranosuke Takagi and Ricardo Rosset in today's...
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX [30.08.98] LADY LUCK FAILS TO SMILE IN BELGIUM
SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, BELGIUM, August 30, 1998 -- Luck counts for a great deal in motor racing. Unfortunately, it deserted Toranosuke Takagi and Ricardo Rosset in today's dramatic Belgian Grand Prix. After recording the 14th and 18th fastest times respectively in Sunday's rain-sodden morning warm-up session, the Tyrrell duo looked to be in good shape for the race. A massive first-lap pile-up involving the majority of cars in the field, however, caused the Grand Prix to be halted almost as soon as it had started. It also resulted in terminal damage to both Tyrrells. The team's spare chassis, set up this race for Takagi, was rapidly prepared and the young Japanese took his place on the grid for the restart. Takagi got away well and had climbed to ninth place by lap 10. At the start of the next lap, though, he lost control of his car after exiting the La Source hairpin and crashed into the barriers on the left side of the track. Happily, Takagi was uninjured but the car was too heavily damaged to continue.
TORANOSUKE TAKAGI (No 21) Finishing position: DNF
"As I accelerated down the hill out of La Source, one of the Ferraris exited the pits and I went wide to avoid him. Unfortunately, it was the section of track where the big pile-up occurred earlier and it was very slippery. The car started to acquaplane and I just couldn't do anything. I hit the armco and that was that. It's a great shame because the car felt good and I had high hopes of a strong finish. I must thank my engineers and mechanics who did a great job to get the spare ready so quickly and made the right tyre choice. Looking at the weekend positively, this was my first time in a Formula One car at Spa and I'm sure it is good experience for my career."
RICARDO ROSSET (No 20) Finishing position: DNF
"At the start, there was just so much spray, I couldn't see anything. I managed to get around the first corner and started to accelerate down the hill but almost immediately saw pieces of wreckage on the track. I guessed there had been an accident and started to slow, but it was too late and I piled into a mass of cars that were crashing everywhere. I hit my elbow in the collision but would have been able to take the restart. Unfortunately, my car was too badly damaged to be repaired in the time available. The spare car was prepared for Tora this weekend so I had no choice but to sit the race out. It's a shame because my car was good in the wet during the morning warm-up and I think we could have done well."