SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, March 26, 2000 - After its double points-scoring finish in Australia two weeks ago, the Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda team had an altogether tougher time of it in today's Brazilian Grand Prix. After qualifying a promising ...
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, March 26, 2000 - After its double points-scoring finish in Australia two weeks ago, the Lucky Strike Reynard BAR Honda team had an altogether tougher time of it in today's Brazilian Grand Prix. After qualifying a promising eighth and tenth respectively, drivers Ricardo Zonta and Jacques Villeneuve both fell victim to gearbox maladies in the race. Unfortunately, the fault on Villeneuve's car turned out to be terminal, the 1997 World Champion retiring from the race on lap 16. Zonta then encountered a gear selection problem immediately after his pit stop on lap 28, but put in a solid drive to finish 10th.
RICARDO ZONTA Position: 10th Fastest lap: 1:16.658 Speed: 194.750 km/h
"I am really happy to have completed my first Brazilian Grand Prix, but it's a shame that we couldn't get a better result because the crowd was absolutely fantastic. The car felt good in the first part of the race and I felt that it might be possible to get another points finish. I came in a little early for my pit stop after I encountered a problem with what turned out to be the right front wheel nut. When I tried to leave the pits, I had difficulty selecting the right gear, but managed to get going. After a few laps the situation seemed to settle down and I was able to push harder and caught Mazzacane and then thought I might also get de la Rosa after he went into the gravel. My lap times were okay, but I was just too far back by that time to climb another place."
JACQUES VILLENEUVE Position: DNF Fastest lap: 1:18.379 Speed: 192.813 km/h
"I knew there was something not quite right early on with the gearbox, but I thought that we could still get through to the finish. I was having trouble selecting gears and then it just gave up. It's a shame because we haven't had a problem all weekend and we have shown that we really are capable of setting competitive times. We could easily have come away from Brazil with more points."
CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing
"The one reliability issue we thought we really had sorted came back and bit us today. Still, it's better to have a reality check now than in a few races' times. We will aim to refocus and work on all aspects of our performance at this week's Silverstone test in order to get back on track for Imola."
ANDY GREEN, Chief Designer, British American Racing
"We're obviously disappointed with today's result. Both drivers appear to have suffered similar gearbox problems, one terminal and the other sufficient to slow him down so that he lost ground that he simply wasn't able to regain, despite some competitive lap times in the closing stages of the race. We'll be making every effort to solve the problem before the next Grand Prix."