German GP McLaren race notes

Mika Hakkinen: "I made one of the best starts of my career to go from fourth to leading into the first corner. I felt in control during the opening stages of the race even though David was right behind me. When the safety car came out I went in...

Mika Hakkinen:
"I made one of the best starts of my career to go from fourth to leading into the first corner. I felt in control during the opening stages of the race even though David was right behind me. When the safety car came out I went in for my pit stop and when the rain started to fall really heavily on lap 34 I pitted for wets. I might have won the race if I had remained on slicks. However the risk of spinning off was too big as it was very slippery, especially in the Stadium section and the car was not easy to drive. I had to be careful with the wets in the fast dry sections not to ruin them and make them useless for the wet parts."

David Coulthard:
"Obviously I didn't get the perfect getaway at the start. I didn't notice the safety car as there were no flags or signs deployed prior to me seeing it. It came out on the lap where I was meant to have my pit stop and seeing Mika entering the pitlane I stayed out for another lap which put me back to sixth place. When the rain began I stayed out for a long time to see what sort of difference wet tyres made on lap times. I only decided to come in for wets one corner before the pitlane so it was a late call. However I'm happy to settle for points today and close the gap to the championship leader considerably."

Ron Dennis:
"It goes without saying that it was a somewhat frustrating outcome to a very unusual race. We had flexibility in our strategy but not sufficient to accommodate the deranged spectator wandering on to the circuit and not only costing us the race but also endangering his and the lives of the drivers. Our reaction to the wet weather was cautious as both our drivers had a great deal more to lose than Barrichello, who nevertheless drove very well. Clearly its going to be an interesting end to the season."

Norbert Haug:
"Today we didn't want to take a risk when we where leading as the rain set in on parts of the circuit, so after radio communication with both drivers we decided to change to wets. Barrichello took a gamble and won and Mika and David both closed the gap to Michael Schumacher tos two points. I'm disappointed that the person who was responsible for the safety car coming out for the first time couldn't have been taken away before the race when he already was close to the track. The outcome for him and the drivers could have been very serious. So we lost our big advantage. Congratulations to Rubens Barrichello who displayed a great performance."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Norbert Haug
Teams McLaren