Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda produced their best qualifying result of the season when Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were fourth and fifth fastest for tomorrow's British Grand Prix at the end of a dramatic 60-minute session on a dry ...
Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda produced their best qualifying result of the season when Jarno Trulli and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were fourth and fifth fastest for tomorrow's British Grand Prix at the end of a dramatic 60-minute session on a dry track. Plans had been upset when the two morning practice sessions were run in the wet but the rain did not return for the all-important hour of qualifying. Matters were complicated, however, when the official timing computers were down for most of the session.
'It was a good day because we were full of expectation,' said Eddie Jordan. 'A good morale booster for the team, coming on the back of France where I really felt that we made some improvement with both cars showing reliability and finishing, with Jarno earning points. It was frustrating today not to have the times up on the screen because we weren't exactly sure where we were for most of the session. Fourth and fifth in front of one of the Ferraris? That makes it a very good day for the team.
'Silverstone is a very special place for us; our factory is 100 yards from the front gate and it gave everyone that boost because, goodness knows, we needed it this year. If I remember rightly, we had very few points going into the second part of the season in 1998 and we finished fourth in the championship. Fingers crossed, who knows, Lady Luck may be on our side tomorrow.'
'Great qualifying for me and for the team,' said Trulli. 'It's a shame because the car was really running well but it was a difficult because I was running completely blind thanks to having no computer readout of the lap times. So I was completely blind and unable to know where I was losing and where I was gaining. I was improving every run and the last run was a very good lap but unfortunately at the exit of Becketts, going over the kerb, we had a problem with the front suspension and so I had to slow down and stop. I'm sure I could have beaten Coulthard's time because I had a bit left for that last run. Anyway, a very good result for the team, especially at Jordan's home Grand Prix.'
'Certainly qualifying was confused a little bit because we were expecting some rain,' said Frentzen. 'That's why we tried to do our runs early but then we received information that there would not be any rain. So we were able to focus and concentrate on the end of the session when the track would be at its best. So everyone was running more or less to the same plan. But we had a well-balanced car for qualifying and I had a good feeling we would be competitive here. That's the way it has proved and I'm quite happy.'
The battle for pole turned out to be a three-cornered fight between Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and the McLarens of Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, Schumacher resisting a challenge from the McLarens in the final minute. Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were eighth and tenth fastest thanks to tyre problems. Irvine, who lost time in the morning with a hydraulic problem, was 15th fastest after a suspension problem forced him to switch to the spare Jaguar.