Bitter disappointment for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda as neither car finished the German Grand Prix, Jarno Trulli retiring after 34 laps, Ricardo Zonta having stopped with collision damage seven laps into the 45-lap race. 'It was very...
Bitter disappointment for Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda as neither car finished the German Grand Prix, Jarno Trulli retiring after 34 laps, Ricardo Zonta having stopped with collision damage seven laps into the 45-lap race.
'It was very difficult and disappointing,' said Trulli. 'I was struggling to keep pace in the first stint and I spun off while battling with Panis for position. He tried to overtake me at the first chicane but he overshot the corner and jumped the chicane, coming out in front of me. The regulations say that he should have let me have my position back, so I tried to overtake him at the next chicane but he closed the door, which I didn't expect. I had to turn quickly to avoid an accident and unfortunately spun off, losing valuable time and positions. This has been a tough weekend and one to forget.'
'I made a good start,' said Zonta. 'I missed the second chicane at one point and I found myself behind Verstappen. I caught him on the straight and, as I got alongside the Arrows to overtake, Verstappen closed the door on me and hit my front wing. That effectively was the end of my race from that point. I made a pit stop for a new nose cone but, unfortunately the damage went beyond that and I had to stop for good a lap later.'
'A total disaster,' said Eddie Jordan. 'There's not much else I can say at the end of a terrible weekend. Jarno eventually stopped with a hydraulic pump failure and Ricardo was forced to retire with damage to the front brake ducts, suspension and a barge board. All we can do now is put this behind us and focus on the rest of the season. There is a three-week break now and, while everyone is ready for it, we will be doing everything to regain our momentum during the remaining five races.'
The race was won by Ralf Schumacher, who took the lead when his Williams team-mate, Juan Pablo Montoya, suffered an engine failure on lap 25. As usual, the Hockenheim race caused a high rate of attrition, the McLaren-Mercedes of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen retiring from top three places with engine failures, the same problem affecting the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello brought consolation to Ferrari by finishing second, ahead of the BAR Honda of Jacques Villeneuve. Only 10 of the 22 starters reached the finish, the race having to be restarted after a collision on the approach to the first corner.
The 13th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship will be the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on 19 August.