Jordan San Marino Review

The mood in the Jordan camp is now much more up-beat, following the team's performance in San Marino. Though, frustratingly, no points were won (after Ralf finished one place outside the point-scoring positions, and Damon retired with...

The mood in the Jordan camp is now much more up-beat, following the team's performance in San Marino. Though, frustratingly, no points were won (after Ralf finished one place outside the point-scoring positions, and Damon retired with a broken air valve), the performance by both drivers demonstrated the huge improvements made to the Jordan Mugen-Honda 198. As Damon explained, "We demonstrated our new-found competitiveness by being able to run up near the front all weekend. The car is far more driveable now, and I am able to post consistent lap times, which means I can really push and work on making further improvements." Damon was unlucky to run into the back of Alexander Wurz, off the start line after the Austrian became stuck in first gear, but the 1996 World Champion showed his class by fighting back from 19th to 8th place. He was on his 59th lap when a problem with the air valve forced him to retire. Despite this disappointment, Damon commented after the race, "We did not come away with any points, but the performance today undoubtedly backs up what we have been saying all weekend. We needed to prove we have a car which is competitive, and we did that. I want to show people that I am here to fight to win, and I now know that I can do that with Jordan and Honda." Ralf Schumacher was relieved to end his unlucky run by finishing his first race of the season. He managed to bring the car home despite a problem with the fuel flap came open for most of the race, upsetting his car's aerodynamics and balance. This problem probably cost him points as he lost time in the pits stops when his mechanics tried to secure the flap back into place. "I am very happy to have finished the race, but disappointed not to have finished in the points, " said Ralf. "The start was much better this time and the first half of the race went well, but after my second pit stop I had problems with a loss of air valve pressure which meant I was not able to go quicker. I also had a problem with the fuel flap which kept opening and caused loss of downforce which upset the balance of the car. It also meant we lost time in the pits stops trying to secure it back into place." There is no time for rest before the next Grand Prix in Barcelona. Both Damon and Ralf test there this week, and will be joined by test drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Yeuichi Wakisaka. While the test team is busy in Spain, the race team will be rebuilding the race cars at the factory ready to set off for the fifth Grand Prix of the season, this time in far more bouyant mood.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Pedro de la Rosa , Alexander Wurz
Teams Jordan