STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring Saturday 15th August: QUALIFYING Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'These are not ideal starting positions. We felt that 12th place was within Rubens' grasp but anything...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Hungarian Grand Prix - Hungaroring
Saturday 15th August: QUALIFYING
Paul Stewart, Managing Director: 'These are not ideal starting positions. We felt that 12th place was within Rubens' grasp but anything beyond that would not have been a realistic target. Jos had a mechanical problem in the morning and then his excursion in the second part of free practice left him little time to work on an optimum set-up for qualifying. We all recognise that overtaking is not easy on this track so we are hoping that if we make a good start our race strategy will enable us to challenge for a competitive position. Because of the passing problems, drivers can become impatient at Hungaroring and make mistakes, so without being too unkind, maybe we can take advantage of that in the race. Other than the basic handling difficulties common to a circuit such as this, neither Rubens nor Jos reported any major problems with the car, which is why it's frustrating at this stage of the season not to be solidly challenging for a top 10 position in qualifying.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director: 'This is the first race weekend that Bridgestone have supplied the new wider front tyre. Proper testing started at Silverstone a week ago and continued through into practice here in Hungary. The new tyre changes the balance of the SF-2 quite a lot but plenty of work on set- up and some new suspension on Rubens' car seemed to be progressing in the right direction this morning. However, yet again in qualifying we have failed to find the necessary improvement in lap times to get a decent grid position. It must be said that Jos' mechanics did a terrific job in changing the engine in super quick time only for their efforts to come to nought with Jos getting involved with a Tyrrell after only one flying lap in the second free practice session. To start so far back will make for a difficult race so we must hope we have chosen the right tyre compound, make the correct pit stop decisions and have the reliability needed to get a result.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport: 'From an engine point of view Rubens had a trouble-free day. Jos had an engine failure which cut the first of this morning's practice sessions short. The mechanics did a great job to get him out again for the start of the second practice session. In qualifying the mid-field of the grid was very competitive and a few more tenths of a second would have put us in the top half.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/04 Position: 14th Best time: 1:19.876
'I was pretty disappointed not to get a fast run in at the end. I gave it everything but I was caught up in traffic so there was not a lot I could do. I'm confident we can expect the car to run better on the limit with fuller tanks. Getting a good start is crucial because it's so difficult to pass here. Traditionally there are a lot of non-finishers at Hungaroring, so who knows if we run reliably we could be in with the chance of a point.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no.19: SF-2/03 Position: 17th Best time: 1.20.198
'I have had a difficult day but I don't think we did too bad considering the circumstances. I only managed to get 8 laps during this morning's practice. In the first session I had an engine problem and in the second session I was behind Rosset, when he braked too early and I went into the back of him. As a result we were still trying to find the optimum set-up during qualifying which is not ideal. The car also suffered front wing damage while on the weigh bridge which didn't help matters. I think I could have done better but now I look forward to the race. It's going to be very hard because it's a very difficult circuit and it's bumpy.'