Silverstone, July/ 10/ 1999 1999 BRITISH GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING Hakkinen makes it six With four days of pre-race testing at Silverstone last week behind them, the F1 teams were understandably confident about having made the...
Silverstone, July/ 10/ 1999 1999 BRITISH GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
Hakkinen makes it six
With four days of pre-race testing at Silverstone last week behind them, the F1 teams were understandably confident about having made the correct choice of tyres today as they went into qualifying for the British GP. Although yesterday's close practice times suggested a close-fought qualifying session today, Mika Hakkinen took pole position - his sixth of the season - by more than 0.4 second from Michael Schumacher. The Ferrari driver set his fastest time on his first run and it was generally agreed that the track was at its fastest during the first 20 minutes of the session. Hakkinen's team mate David Coulthard set 3rd fastest time, ahead of Eddie Irvine in the second Ferrari, with French GP winner Heinz-Harald Frentzen again showing form with 5th place on the grid.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "The majority of the drivers opted for the Soft compound of Bridgestone tyre today. It was the logical choice, even in the pleasantly warm conditions which have blessed Silverstone today. The only problem reported to us this weekend has been a tendency for the Soft tyre to give understeer when it is brand new. For this reason we expect several teams to have prepared scrubbed sets for the race instead of fitting unused tyres at each run."
Steve Hallam, Chief Engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "The weather conditions during the four days we spent testing here last week - quite hot, with high track temperatures -- were very similar to what we have experienced so far this weekend. Having already made our choice of tyre during the test, practice has been much easier than usual because we knew where to concentrate. We have had a relatively trouble-free two days, most of which has been spent on fine-tuning the car. After six days of running at the same circuit, we should know what we are doing and where we are!"
Ross Brawn, Technical Director, Ferrari Team: "We are reasonably happy with our qualifying performance. In fact we are in much the same position as we were at Monaco, which turned out well for us. Like almost everyone, we have selected the Soft tyres, which will obviously not be as durable as the Medium alternative. That means the drivers will have to be careful not to abuse them during the race, but it was the only logical option because the Medium tyres were about half a second slower. It is almost impossible to overtake here, and with a forecast of hot weather for tomorrow afternoon, I expect this to be a tough race. Provided one driver doesn't get a big lead at the start, this is likely to be a race of strategy and it could be very interesting for spectators. But it will be more to do with pit stops and tactics than racing together on the circuit itself."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 16:-19: 19:-28: Sunny - dry Afternoon 25:-27: 35:-40: Sunny - dry