Honda-powered teams were unable to capitalise on strong qualifying positions in today's British Grand Prix as Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished seventh, aboard his Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda, and Jacques Villeneuve eighth, in his Lucky Strike BAR...
Honda-powered teams were unable to capitalise on strong qualifying positions in today's British Grand Prix as Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished seventh, aboard his Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda, and Jacques Villeneuve eighth, in his Lucky Strike BAR Honda. Both Jarno Trulli's Jordan Honda and Olivier Panis' BAR Honda ended their races in the gravel trap at the first corner, Copse, after separate incidents.
In a race defined by pitstop strategies, McLaren's Mika Hakkinen cruised to victory, his first at the British Grand Prix, with championship leader Michael Schumacher second and his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello third. Juan Pablo Montoya took his Williams to fourth and the two Saubers of Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld completed the points scorers in fifth and sixth positions.
Trulli, alongside the McLaren of David Coulthard on the second row of the grid, had a good start and headed into the first corner, Copse, on the inside of the McLaren. The two made contact, with the Jordan Honda coming to rest in the gravel while Coulthard spun, the consequent damage ending his race three laps later. Just behind as this incident unfolded, Panis was on the outside of his BAR Honda team-mate Villeneuve when the two touched, Olivier's race ending a matter of metres from Trulli's stricken car.
While Frentzen slipped to eighth by the end of lap one with Villeneuve in 10th, Michael Schumacher led away, closely pursued by Hakkinen. By lap five the McLaren was past and strode away, opening up an 11 second lead in as many laps, the Finn going on to record a series of five lap records. A brief challenge from Montoya for the lead was kept at bay by Hakkinen's outright speed and Ferrari's one-stop strategy while his Williams team-mate Ralf Schumacher promoted the Sauber pair, Frentzen and Villeneuve when he retired with technical problems on lap 38.
"This has been a very disappointing day for the team, particularly after such an encouraging qualifying. I lost quite a few positions before the first corner but went on to enjoy a good battle with Heidfeld. On my second attack trying to overtake him, I felt something break on the car which resulted in heavy understeer and was reflected in my uncompetitive lap times towards the end of the race. All we can do now is look forward to Hockenheim where we will hopefully have a better race."
Kazutoshi Nishizawa, Technical Director, Honda Racing Development
"My heart sank when we lost two cars at the first corner but as we all know that's racing. At the moment we are struggling to score more championship points but we are committed to the fight for positions and to get the best out of the remaining races."
Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive, Jordan Honda
"Today has been extremely disappointing and to not score any points after such a promising performance throughout the weekend is the last thing the team wanted at its home Grand Prix. Not only is it bad for our Championship fight but sad for the fantastic number of supporters and Jordan employees who came to see Jordan race today. I wish we could have given them a better result. Jarno's race was unfortunately over almost before it started and it seems that seventh place was the best Heinz was able to achieve today."
Craig Pollock, Team Principal and Managing Director, BAR Honda
"A difficult home Grand Prix for the team today. We had an unfortunate incident after the start when Jacques touched Olivier. It was however a racing incident but I feel very sorry for Olivier and his crew. He was feeling good in the car this morning and I'm sure he could have done well today. Jacques drove very hard for the rest of the race and was able to finish 8th as a result. I have no doubt that Jacques and Olivier will talk things out between themselves then put it behind them to focus on the German Grand Prix."