German GP Benetton Saturday notes

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a tough qualifying session at Hockenheim ahead of the 2001 German Grand Prix. Giancarlo Fisichella set the 17th-fastest time with a lap of 1:41.299, while his team-mate Jenson Button will line up ...

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team had a tough qualifying session at Hockenheim ahead of the 2001 German Grand Prix.

Giancarlo Fisichella set the 17th-fastest time with a lap of 1:41.299, while his team-mate Jenson Button will line up immediately behind on the grid in 18th place after setting a lap time of 1:41.438.

Giancarlo Fisichella
"Today has been very difficult compared to yesterday. I had an engine change after this morning’s free practice and had to go straight into qualifying with a race engine. On my fourth and final qualifying lap I was a couple of tenths up, but one of the Saubers was going slowly ahead and held me up. But for that, I think I might have been a couple of places higher up the grid."

Jenson Button
"Everything looked so much better yesterday, but we were unable to realise our potential for a variety of reasons. I stopped on my first lap this morning with gearbox trouble and that set the scene for a tough day. Racing can be like that sometimes. When it happens you just have to accept it and concentrate on doing better tomorrow."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director
"It was a disappointing qualifying session today, particularly after we showed such promise yesterday. We had a very difficult free practice session this morning. Neither driver did many laps, because Giancarlo had an engine problem that necessitated an engine change, then a fuel pressure problem and then Jenson had gearbox trouble, so we also had to change that.

"This meant that we did not have any time this morning to do the kind of development running that would have allowed us to get more from the car. As a result, we were always playing catch-up in qualifying. What’s more, both drivers were effectively restricted to three of their maximum four runs. Giancarlo was caught in traffic on his last lap and Jenson had an engine problem that forced him to pull off at the end.

"We showed yesterday that the car has clear potential, but we just didn’t have a chance to prove as much today. Now we must focus on what will be a long, hard race. Our aim, as always, is to get both cars to the finish and if you manage that you never know what you might achieve. Previous years have shown that anything can happen at this track."

The Mild Seven Benetton Renault Sport team will next be on track for the Sunday morning warm-up at 0930 local time, ahead of the afternoon's race, which gets underway at 1400.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Mike Gascoyne
Teams Sauber , Benetton