French GP Saturday McLaren notes

West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard starts the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix from the front row of the grid having posted the second fastest time in qualifying with a 1:15.734 just one tenth behind pole position. Mika Hakkinen will be right...

West McLaren Mercedes driver David Coulthard starts the Mobil 1 French Grand Prix from the front row of the grid having posted the second fastest time in qualifying with a 1:15.734 just one tenth behind pole position. Mika Hakkinen will be right behind him on the grid in fourth place have qualified with a 1:16.050.

David Coulthard:
"A fuel pump problem meant that my qualifying session was a bit disjointed as I did the first two runs in the T Car and the last two runs in the race car. But I am pleased with my final lap time which puts me on the front row of the grid for tomorrow's race and I have to take my hat off to the mechanics who had to work hard under very pressured conditions and did a great job."

Mika Hakkinen:
"On the one hand I could say that it was a very disappointing session for me today, but on the other hand it is better than last year when I qualified 14th . But to be serious I have to sit down with the engineers and find out what the problem is and find a solution. I am confident that we will find a solution and I am optimistic for the race."

Ron Dennis:
"Grand Prix practice and qualifying days vary from event to event. Today's qualifying lacked the normal progression which sees you systematically lower your lap times. Mika never had the car to his liking as he tried to find his optimum lap. David did an outstanding job as he changed from the T car to the race car half way through the session and still managed to claim a front row position. However we still have every opportunity to win tomorrow."

Norbert Haug:
"David was handicapped as he had to use the T car following a fuel pump failure in his race car. He changed back to his race car later in the session. His second run had to be aborted after he had lifted entering the first comer to avoid Ralf Schumacher exiting the pitlane. Ralf apologised. When David finally used his race car he put it on the front row in a determined effort 0.102 seconds behind Michael Schumacher. Mika did not get the set up to his liking and was beaten to fourth place by Barrichello's Ferrari, by three thousandths of a second. One car on the first row, one on the second is a good base for tomorrow's race which the whole team are looking forward too."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Norbert Haug
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren