The German GP started so well for Jaguar Racing when both cars ran briefly in the top six, but as so often this year luck did not fall the team's way. After a good early run Johnny Herbert retired with gearshift problems, while Eddie Irvine ...
The German GP started so well for Jaguar Racing when both cars ran briefly in the top six, but as so often this year luck did not fall the team's way. After a good early run Johnny Herbert retired with gearshift problems, while Eddie Irvine suffered from a lack of straightline speed and, after suffering bad luck during the safety car period, eventually finished a frustrated 10th.
For a while, Johnny enjoyed his best race of the season. He held fifth for a few laps, before losing out to quicker cars which had qualified badly and was running eighth when he was forced to stop out on the circuit on an unlucky 13th lap.
"The start wasn't very good," said Johnny. "The clutch wasn't very nice again, I didn't get off the line very well and lost out to Eddie and Jacques Villeneuve - who I was expecting to get past me! But the clutch just wasn't like it was in Austria...
"I re-passed Jacques on the first lap and then I was behind Eddie. I followed him for one lap but then I started to get a bad gear shift, or at least had one bad shift. Then on the next lap I actually passed Eddie, and pulled away. Then it was okay, until I got another bad shift when I came out of the Sachs Kurve. At first I didn't get anything, and then I tried again and got third. "It was okay again for a while, but then it happened again in the same place and Jos Verstappen got close to me. Then I lost fourth and started going from third to fifth. Jos passed me before I lost the whole gearbox and stopped midway between the first and second chicane. It was a pain that I wasn't able to get to the end."
One positive outcome of the race was that former Stewart driver Rubens Barrichello, who is still very popular with his former colleagues, scored his first win.
"I'm so pleased for him," said Johnny. "He's a great guy, and one of the best team-mates I ever had. For him to have his first win at Ferrari makes it emotionally very special."