Silverstone, July 10, 1999 -Despite missing the last 20 minutes of morning practice when he damaged his car on the kerbs avoiding a spinning Alex Zanardi, Jacques Villeneuve was reasonably happy with his car's set-up and managed a spot in the top...
Silverstone, July 10, 1999 -Despite missing the last 20 minutes of morning practice when he damaged his car on the kerbs avoiding a spinning Alex Zanardi, Jacques Villeneuve was reasonably happy with his car's set-up and managed a spot in the top 10 in today's qualifying session for Sunday's British Grand Prix. Struggling with understeer problems all day, and suffering a fuel leak during his last timed run, Ricardo Zonta found himself almost a full second back of his team-mate.
Both drivers' times were set early on in the session, before the track slowed as temperatures rose. Villeneuve will start the race on the fifth row, alongside No. 10 qualifier Jean Alesi of Sauber, whilst Zonta is in the 16th spot on the grid.
Mika Hakkinen of McLaren-Mercedes was the only driver of 22 to break the 1:25 barrier, turning in a fastest lap of one minute, 24.804 seconds, for his sixth pole position in seven Grands Prix in 1999. He was almost half a second ahead of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari (1:24.223), with David Coulthard's McLaren (1:25.634) completing the top three places.
The race gets under way Sunday at 1300 hrs local time.
JACQUES VILLENEUVE - 1:26.719 - 9th "I think we almost got the best out of the car with the best set-up possible - there may have been a few hundredths of a second left in it. We still need to make some progress in terms of performance, but I think we've done some good work this weekend. For the race, we know that the car is competitive on old tyres, so that is a good sign for Sunday."
RICARDO ZONTA - 1:27.699 - 16th "I found it difficult to get a good set-up today. The car was understeering a lot and we just didn't seem to get the right combination to cure the problem. My first run was not too bad, but I hit the kerbs on my second run and the first I knew there was damage to the car was when we started to lose fuel while I was waiting to go out for my final run. I had to take the spare car out, which at this race is set up for Jacques, so the pedals were much too long for me. There was no chance to go quicker by then and the track was slowing anyway. I'm not happy about starting the race so far back, but I'll just have to try to make up places."
CRAIG POLLOCK, Managing Director, British American Racing "We had expected to qualify higher up the grid than this, especially with Jacques. However there is only one other Supertec-engined car in front of us, and I really don't think that either driver could have got more out of their cars under the circumstances. They put in maximum effort. I hope that we can get a good result Sunday, since we have a lot of local support here at Silverstone."
ROBERT SYNGE, Team Manager, British American Racing "We felt the car was capable of some good times and Jacques showed that in his Sector 1 split time. Nevertheless, we had hoped to be higher up, but Jacques is in the top-10 and we can still get points from there. We have had no mechanical problems with either car this weekend."