Eddie Irvine: seventh, at 1m 06.683, 66 laps, F399 chassis 196 Mika Salo: retired after 45 laps, F399 chassis 195 Jean Todt "The race was a series of problems enlivened with much drama. We were unable to make the most of the continual changes...
Eddie Irvine: seventh, at 1m 06.683, 66 laps, F399 chassis 196 Mika Salo: retired after 45 laps, F399 chassis 195
Jean Todt "The race was a series of problems enlivened with much drama. We were unable to make the most of the continual changes in the weather and the situations these created. At the first pit stops, we were waiting for Eddie, but Salo came in first to change his damaged front wing, losing valuable time. Irvine came in soon after Mika, when a last minute change of tyre choice also lost us time. At the end of lap 45, Salo stopped with a brake problem which we are currently analysing. In these unusual circumstances, our main rivals coped with the conditions better than us. The championships are still up for grabs. This is not the time for recriminations. If we want to fight to the end of the championship we must not stumble like this in the remaining races."
Eddie Irvine "Our strategy was a bit wrong. We stayed out when we should have come in. It was yet another great opportunity missed. As for my first pit stop, the pit crew was ready for me, but Salo came in first and so the mechanics got rid of my tyres to put his tyres on. Then when I came in they could not find one of my tyres. They eventually found it and I lost a lot of time. It is difficult when you have one group of mechanics serving two cars. We should have been attacking ahead, instead of covering Hakkinen but there were too many mistakes. At the end, when the track was drying, I was unable to keep on the pace as the balance of my car was not right. Even so, we have got off lightly as I am still only two points behind the championship leader."
Mika Salo "When I first changed onto wet tyres was a mistake, but then I had a problem with the brakes as they were on all the time. It felt as though I had a handbrake on. The car was very difficult to drive, even in a straight line, as every time I backed off the throttle, I locked up the rear wheels. When the track started to dry out it was impossible to continue. I am not sure what went wrong with the pit stop."