European GP Bridgestone Qualifying

Budapest, August/ 14/ 1999 Hakkinen thrills the Finns with pole position number 9 Heavy traffic hampered fast times for most drivers throughout the 60 minutes of qualifying at the Hungaroring today. However, it failed to prevent McLaren and Mika...

Budapest, August/ 14/ 1999 Hakkinen thrills the Finns with pole position number 9

Heavy traffic hampered fast times for most drivers throughout the 60 minutes of qualifying at the Hungaroring today. However, it failed to prevent McLaren and Mika Hakkinen from claiming pole position for the ninth time this season on a warm afternoon. In front of a crowd which, as always in Hungary, included tens of thousands of his fellow Finns, Hakkinen edged out the Ferrari of a determined Eddie Irvine, with David Coulthard taking 3rd position on the grid in his McLaren. With the nine leading drivers separated by less than one second, a close race can be expected tomorrow.

Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Several drivers chose the Extra Soft compound today, and most of them have done well in qualifying. However, this compound will inevitably suffer greater degradation, especially if the weather turns hotter tomorrow. They can also expect to find their cars understeering in the early laps of each stint, so they will have to take care in race conditions. We expect everyone to make at least two pit stops during the race, with several teams choosing to stop three times. It should make an extremely interesting race, especially for the spectators."

Steve Hallam, West McLaren Mercedes Chief Engineers: "Our performances so far this weekend show that we should be able to cope with a wide range of different weather conditions. It was cool yesterday, warm today, so who knows what will happen tomorrow? As far as today's qualifying is concerned, an analysis of the sector times show that we were capable of going faster than the completed lap times might indicate. Traffic is inevitable on a tight circuit like this when everyone is trying to do his best, and both drivers got caught in it several times. Regarding the race, we have concentrated on just the one tyre compound. It will not be until tomorrow afternoon that we will know whether it has been the correct choice."

Joan Villadelprat, MildSeven Benetton Playlife Operations Director: "Having tested for five days last week at the Danielson circuit in France, where we identified several of the existing problems with our cars, we have been able to prepare a better setup for this race. More than ever here at the Hungaroring, the right strategy can be decisive for this race and one to three pit stops could be possible from the tyre point of view. After having worked intensely yesterday during the free practice with a lot of fuel, we feel there may even be some possibility for us to get to the podium."

Kazuyoshi Hoshino (Winner of 118 major races in Japan and overseas): "I am a little bit jealous of Mika Hakkinen, who was the first driver to win a world championship with Bridgestone, because by the time he won his title I had already retired from racing and was not in a position to race an F1 car again. This year I will be supporting my old rival Eddie Irvine. I have many good memories of our battles in Japan, which culminated in my defeating him for the Formula 3000 title in 1993. Good luck, Eddie!"

TEMPERATURES    AIR             TRACK           WEATHER 
Morning         21:-23:         27:-31:         Sunny - dry     
Afternoon       26:-25:         39:-40:         Sunny- dry

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Mika Hakkinen , Kazuyoshi Hoshino
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren , Benetton