Mika Hakkinen: Chassis 04 David Coulthard: Chassis 05 T-car: Chassis 01 West McLaren Mercedes driversâ€™ Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard finished todayâ€™s Warsteiner European Grand Prix at the NÃ¼rburgring in second and third place ...
Mika Hakkinen: Chassis 04
David Coulthard: Chassis 05
T-car: Chassis 01
West McLaren Mercedes drivers’ Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard finished today’s Warsteiner European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in second and third place respectively. The 67-lap race started in dry weather but the rain began after only a few laps and the conditions remained very wet for the remainder of the Grand Prix.
‘I made what was probably one of the best starts of my career to take the lead from third on the grid. The problem we suffered from in qualifying had been solved and the balance of my car was very good. I lost valuable time in my first pitstop when there was a problem with the rear right tyre. However, I was able to open up a significant gap to Schumacher, during the middle section, but unfortunately on the last few laps before my second pitstop I was held up by a backmarker and lost too much time to stay ahead of him after the stop. Towards the end, I was catching Schumacher and would have been closer to him if I hadn’t, once again, been stuck in traffic.’
‘I was slow getting off the line at the start and dropped to third coming into the first corner. At the end of the first lap, my car developed a problem and I was struggling with the rear for the rest of the race. When it started to rain, it became even more difficult because I was unable to powerslide, which you have to do to get the maximum out of the car in wet conditions. As a result I was driving my own race where I had to concentrate hard on keeping the car on the track, so all in all I’m pleased with four points.’
‘We had a good adaptive strategy which, save for the inconsistency of drivers’ reactions to blue flags, would have improved our results. However a small problem with the right rear on Mika’s car in his first pitstop and David’s car being set more towards dry conditions made life even more difficult. Of course we came here to win but two second and third place finishes and two one-two victories in the last four Grands Prix show a certain consistency.’
‘This was a close and exciting race. Mika was the fastest driver in the wet over long periods of the race, but his progress was hampered by backmarkers in the crucial moments. Despite his problem David managed to finish on the podium. We continue to fight for the Championship and will work hard to reduce the points gap in the Drivers’ and Constructors Championships.’