European Grand Prix 26th - 28th April 1996 The Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring saw the Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team score its first podium finish of the season with David Coulthard...
European Grand Prix 26th - 28th April 1996
The Grand Prix of Europe at the Nurburgring saw the Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team score its first podium finish of the season with David Coulthard taking third place. He stormed from sixth to second place at the start and maintained a steady pace throughout the race, fending off a late charge by Damon Hill to keep his position on the rostrum. Mika Hakkinen also had a good start, climbing up from ninth to sixth place, and ran up to third place after his first pitstop. Unfortunately, he received two 10 seconds penalties for speeding in the pitlane and eventually finished eighth.
Mika Hakkinen: "This was a disappointing result, which saw me finish eighth following the two penalties that I received for speeding in the pitlane. I already know that this cost me over a minute, which took away a podium finish and maybe a chance to fight for the lead. The car was exceptionally good on my second set of tyres and I was able to set good lap times. I must now look forward to Imola, where I am sure I can get a better result. Gracias muchos."
David Coulthard: "This result feels like a win for me, not having scored any points for the first three races, and then getting on the podium after havng such a terrific battle with Damon at the end. It could not have come at a better time for myself, McLaren, and especially for Mercedes here on their home ground. I had a great start, close to my best, which saw me briefly lead the race. Hopefully, I'll be experiencing that again soon."
Norbert Haug: "We are happy because we have demonstrated that we have made a step forward with David's podium finish. Also Mika would have run with the leaders if his progress had not been hampered by two penalty pitstops. This was so far our best performance this year."
Ron Dennis: "A race of mixed emotions for the team. David had a fantastic start, and a great race, which saw him drive a superb last lap. I am note sure whether his happiness is greater than that of the rest of the team, but it hopefully marks a turning point for all of us. Mika's race was interrupted by two pitlane speeding infringements which were caused by entering the pitlane too fast and overshooting the limiting control. It won't happen again but of course we all share his disappointment. Our pitstops were well planned and executed and our race pace reflected the improvements that we have made on the car and engine. Step by step, we will get there."