Nurburgring, September /26 /1998 1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING MIKA AND BRIDGESTONE ON THE SECOND ROW Watched by a capacity crowd, the battle for the world drivers' championship had a damp start at the Nurburgring, where Mike ...
Nurburgring, September /26 /1998 1998 LUXEMBOURG GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING
MIKA AND BRIDGESTONE ON THE SECOND ROW
Watched by a capacity crowd, the battle for the world drivers' championship had a damp start at the Nurburgring, where Mike Hakkinen's West-McLaren-Mercedes will start the Grand Prix of Luxembourg from 3rd place on the grid. It was a successful afternoon for Ferrari, whose two drivers will start from the front row together for the first time this season. Although the track had dried out completely by the end of the 60-minute session, all the teams and drivers will not complete their work on setting up their cars until the vital warm-up session on Sunday morning.
Hirohide Hamashima, Technical Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "It is possible that the dampness on the track affected certain drivers' performances today. It also made it impossible for us to accumulate all the data we would like to have had in preparation for the race. But the difference in lap times between Benetton and Ferrari is smaller than ever, which indicates that the performance of our tyres wasn't too bad today. Everything may be different tomorrow and we have a lot of work to do in the warm-up."
Steve Hallam, Chief engineer, West McLaren Mercedes: "Although qualifying did not go on the way we were expecting, this afternoon's session was certainly exciting. Nevertheless, tomorrow is another day and we are looking forward to the race. Let's hope that the weather plays a neutral part in ensuring that there is a good race between us and Michael."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Driver, MildSeven Benetton Playfife (4th 1.19.048): "After some recent unsatisfactory results, this fourth place on the grid has put the enthusiasm back into our team. With a good setup on my car and the help of the Bridgestone tyres I had the opportunity to set a good time. The specification of tyre which we chose before qualifying happens to be the same as the ones which I used in Monte Carlo and Canada, the two GPs in which I finished second this year. The wider front tyres are potentially more suitable for our car, especially on a track like this where there is a tendency towards understeer. From my starting position we are confident of a good race tomorrow. We will be doing everything possible to ensure we hold on to third place in the Constructors' World Championship.
David Richards, Managing Director, MildSeven Benetton Playlife: "The level of performance which Bridgestone has achieved here in dry conditions with the soft compound can only be considered positive. This specification of tyre certainly seems to be very suitable for our car. Today's good result even gave our drivers the motivation to push a little harder. Whether we have wet or dry conditions tomorrow, our good grid positions will certainly pay off. Let's wait and see how the weather will be tomorrow. "
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 13:-18: 14:-19: Cloudy - damp, then dry Afternoon 18:-18: 21:-24: Cloudy - dry