Jean Todt: "This has obviously been a bad weekend as our main rivals, who were stronger than us on the track today, picked up maximum points. We also experienced the first engine failure in a race this season, which cost us precious points for ...
"This has obviously been a bad weekend as our main rivals, who were stronger than us on the track today, picked up maximum points. We also experienced the first engine failure in a race this season, which cost us precious points for Michael in the Drivers' Championship and the team in the Constructors.' Rubens drove a good race. At his second stop, a problem with the right front wheel nut lost him around 10 seconds, which put him third, where he stayed to the end. At the start, we seemed to be in a strong position, but of course it is the order at the finish that counts. The "rules" of this championship are clear: if we don't win, they do. This happens at every grand prix and unfortunately, today went badly for us. We have now passed the halfway point of the season. We know and have always said that it would be tough and today demonstrated that fact."
"After I got past Coulthard at the start, I was just settling into my race and not pushing too hard as I wanted to look after my tyres. I thought I could keep the others behind me quite easily. Then after about ten or fifteen laps, my tyres suffered some give-up. This surprised me because the car had been good in the warm-up. Coulthard was very fast on the straight and putting me under pressure under braking and eventually he got past me when I ran wide at turn three. At the second pit-stop, there was a problem with my front right wheel which cost me ten seconds. It was a shame, because I heard that Hakkinen had a so-so stop as well. Maybe I could have passed him. After Michael had his problem the team told me to slow down as I had a big lead over fourth place. I am sorry he did not finish the race."
"The tyres on my car seemed to suffer a drop in performance earlier than on the others. This problem was at its worst after the first pit stop. At first I could control the situation, but then the tyres went off and I tried to look after them knowing there were still a lot of laps to go. Then I started to slow and Coulthard managed to get past me. Finally on lap 59, I had an engine problem and I had to stop. Now we must find out why. I am disappointed, but this is motor racing and there is nothing you can do about it. I had said the championship wasn't over and unfortunately, today I was proved right. I am sure we will quickly solve the problems we experienced here."