Nurburgring, September /25 /1998 1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE HAKKINEN AND BRIDGESTONE TAKE THE FIRST INITIATIVE After the first two hours of practice for the GP of Luxembourg, held in warm temperatures and glorious ...
Nurburgring, September /25 /1998
1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE
HAKKINEN AND BRIDGESTONE TAKE THE FIRST INITIATIVE
After the first two hours of practice for the GP of Luxembourg, held in warm temperatures and glorious sunshine, it was Mika Hakkinen who snatched an initial advantage in the struggle for the 1998 world drivers' championship. Driving his West-McLaren-Mercedes, the Finn set fastest time in the closing seconds of practice ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella's Benetton and Jacques Villeneuve's Williams. Michael Schumacher left his challenge fractionally too late, taking fourth place on the time sheets for Ferrari.
Hirohide Hamashima, Technical Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "This is a very severe track for tyres, especially as far as the wear rate is concerned. We will therefore keep monitoring the performance of our tyres right until the end of the free session tomorrow morning before making the final choice for qualifying and race. Today we have been checking lap times with different fuel loads in order to discuss the strategies with our teams for the weekend."
Alan Permaine, Giancarlo Fisichella's engineer, Mild Seven Benetton Playlife: "Today was very promising for Giancarlo, who was fastest for much of the session and was finally classified second fastest, ahead of everyone except Hakkinen. The balance of the car already seems good and the tyres are working very well. We didn't run in qualifying trim today, which means there is still some performance to come. The tyre we like is one we have already used in testing, which gives us a certain amount of confidence. We hope to qualify in the top six and then to bring home some points in the race."
Steve Hallam, Chief engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "Although Friday is too early to make any predictions, this is already proving to be a fascinating weekend. With the outcome of the championship so delicately balanced, all of those involved in it are playing their cards very close to their chests. Like our competitors, we have tested extensively since Monza, and here we are constantly analyzing our data and keeping focused on optimising the tyres which Bridgestone has brought to Germany. We are also keeping an eye on the weather, which seems to have affected us at the last four or five events by disrupting either practice or the race."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 18:-18: 21:-24: Sunny - dry Afternoon 19:-28: 21:-31: Sunny - dry