Benson and Hedges driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen will start the Italian Grand Prix on the front row of the grid after splitting the two McLarens of Hakkinen and Coulthard. The German driver gave an excellent performance and he and Hakkinen were the...
Benson and Hedges driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen will start the Italian Grand Prix on the front row of the grid after splitting the two McLarens of Hakkinen and Coulthard. The German driver gave an excellent performance and he and Hakkinen were the only two who managed to post a lap time in the 1.22s.
Frentzen had hoped to pull of his first pole of the season, but this lay just outside his reach. Commenting after the session he said,"“It is an excellent result to be on the front row of the grid again. I had a feeling earlier today that we could be on pole and I would have liked to get my revenge on Mika after he beat me in Hockenheim – but it wasn’t to be. But in any case, the qualifying performance was excellent. The team did a fantastic job to give me the best circumstances to get a good grid position. Our strategy was to do a two lap run but each time the second laps did not work out, either because of yellow flags or because of my own mistake. But we broke the 1.23 bracket which was what we hoped to do. I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
Damon Hill had a disappointing day, not managing to get the best out of himself or the car. "“I am disappointed by my qualifying performance," he said. "I did not get the best out of the car. I lost one run because of yellow flags, but then that was the case for most drivers. Then I tried too hard on my last attempt and went over the chicane. But at least I tried and there is always tomorrow and the chance to earn points.”
Ferrari did not have a good day either. Championship challenger, Eddie Irvine, could only manage to finish 8th fastest, just ahead of Hill. He was beaten by his teammate, Mika Salo, who finished 6th.
The two Williams drivers, Alex Zanardi and Ralf Schumacher gave strong performances, finishing 4th and 5th. This is the first time Zanardi has outqualified Schumacher.
Tomorrow's race starts at 2pm Italian time. The forecast is for continued dry and hot weather, with zero chance of rain.