McLaren spoil Barrichelloâ€™s fun The two McLarenâ€™s of Mike Hakkinen and David Coulthard stole the thunder of the peopleâ€™s hero here in Brazil, Ruben Barrichello, by hogging the first row of the grid. The Silver Arrows relegated Ferrari...
McLaren spoil Barrichello’s fun
The two McLaren’s of Mike Hakkinen and David Coulthard stole the thunder of the people’s hero here in Brazil, Ruben Barrichello, by hogging the first row of the grid. The Silver Arrows relegated Ferrari to the second row, with Michael Schumacher third and Barrichello fourth.
Perhaps even more frustrating for the crowds, and certainly frustrating for the teams and drivers, was the number of interruptions to the qualifying session. Overhead advertising hoardings on the circuit came loose, littering the track and delaying the session as track officials went round clearing the debris.
Rain added a further dampner, and indeed resulted in a disappointing session for the Benson and Hedges Jordan team. Heinz-Harald Frentzen only completed two qualifying runs before rain ruined any chance of him improving on 7th position. Jarno Trulli spun off the track on his first qualifying lap and had to use the spare car which suffered two electronics problems affecting the gear box. The mechanics removed, repaired and refitted the gear box potentiometer in a record time of twelve and a half minutes allowing Trulli to make one last run at the end of the session. Rain, however, also ended his hopes of improving on 12th position.
“Today was very frustrating in every way,” said Jordan’s Chief Executive, Eddie Jordan. “ The interruptions caused by the advertising boards did not do any favours to our sport. But this cannot take away from our performance today which did not come up to expectations. We looked good this morning but it only takes a couple of problems and you are back down the grid. Let’s hope for better things tomorrow.”
“Some teams were lucky today, others were not so lucky, like us,” commented Frentzen. “I was held up in my first run by traffic and then in the second run it was spitting with rain. From then on every time I wanted to go out there was a problem with the advertising boards falling on the track, so it was very frustrating, and these interruptions, plus the weather, meant I was not able to improve on my time. But we have a good race set up and I hope to be able to move up the field tomorrow.” “I was not lucky today,” said Trulli. “I went out on my first run and spun off at turn six – I don’t know why since I was taking that corner quite easily. Perhaps there was dirt on the track but for whatever reason I lost the car. I went out in the spare car but had electronics problems which meant I could not select gears properly. My mechanics did an amazing job to repair the gear box and get me out again by the end of the session, but it was just too wet on the track by then. It is disappointing to be so far down the grid as we looked strong this morning and should have been up behind McLaren and Ferrari. I hope to have some luck on my side tomorrow and do well in the race.”
After the session Sauber announced they have decided not to race tomorrow because their cars are suffering from rear wing failure.