Friday News Summary

Dennis aims to lap the field Ron Dennis has made a bold statement on what he believes to be the performance of the McLaren Mercedes. "What we'll try and do is lead by a lap and make it to the finish" We always ask ourselves is it better to ...

Dennis aims to lap the field

Ron Dennis has made a bold statement on what he believes to be the performance of the McLaren Mercedes.

"What we'll try and do is lead by a lap and make it to the finish" We always ask ourselves is it better to build a car that can lead by a lap but does not finish? Now I believe we have both. Last year we brought a car which is far to advanced in some areas which therefore made it unreliable. One of the things we had at the end of last year was the fastest Formula 1 racing car. What we now know is that we have made an even faster car."

Hakkinen, meanwhile, said that "I'm very happy with the balance of the car and the work we have done today. We experienced no technical problems in either session, which meant we could concentrate 100 percent on finding the right set-up for the rest of the weekend."

Herbert furious over car failures

Johnny Herbert had a run of car failures in his Jaguar during Friday practice sessions for the Australian Grand Prix.

"The day was a complete disaste. I don’t ever want to have a day like this again. I had engine problems and electronic problems. It didn’t need to happen. It doesn’t help when you get only 11 laps - not many of them timed - and everyone else has done 24 or 25. Lets hope I have got all of the bad luck I am going to have this year out of the way now."

Jenson has bird trouble - again

Jenson Button has had problems with birds in his lap - again - just weeks after a similar incident in Kyalami.

"I saw it [the bird] coming towards me this time and I ducked which is a bit dangerous. It hit the wing mirror and fell into my lap. It was obviously dead. It was bit gory, my overalls were covered in blood again. I went on the radio and said I want to come back in because I’ve got a bird on my lap. They just laughed."

Benetton happy with progress

The Benetton team has said it is pleased with the progress that they have made compared to last years car. "It's nice to be back in competition again" said Pat Symonds. Wurz said that they needed "to find more grip, and the rear is a little unstable." Fisichella said that he was "fairly happy with the balance and we have managed to find more grip in the second session, but ideally we need to find more".

-Stephen M Baines-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Johnny Herbert
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Benetton