STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Luxembourg Grand Prix - Nurburgring Friday 25th September: FREE PRACTICE Stewart-Ford's driver line-up for next season was confirmed today when the team announced that it was taking up the...
STEWART-FORD NOTES AND QUOTES 1998 Luxembourg Grand Prix - Nurburgring Friday 25th September: FREE PRACTICE
Stewart-Ford's driver line-up for next season was confirmed today when the team announced that it was taking up the option on Rubens Barrichello's services for 1999. He will be partnered by Johnny Herbert.
Paul Stewart, Managing Director:
'Both cars ran faultlessly throughout the morning and afternoon sessions today which allowed us to work on assessing the set-up we decided to run from the start of the weekend. Rubens worked through a programme which involved getting the best out of the tyres. Jos lost a lot of time because we decided to make a substantial suspension modification in between sessions. We are confident we are heading in the right direction as far as set-up goes.'
Alan Jenkins, Technical Director:
'Previous experience suggested that the main problem posed by the Nurburgring circuit would be understeer. However, for the first part of the morning session both cars were afflicted with turn-in oversteer. We discovered that we had over compensated somewhat with the combination of set-up we chose to start with and the tyres selected by Bridgestone. By the end of the day, the changes we made to springs, roll bars and aerodynamic balance, enabled us to improve the handling noticeably. With the promise of unsettled weather over the next two days it is imperative to have an early indication of tyre choice for the race - finding the balance between performance relative to wear. The primary and option Bridgestones both performed well with high fuel loads and we are pleased to have enough information to make the correct choice for the race should some time be lost tomorrow due to rain. The improved mid-range power of the Series 6 engine will be a definite advantage at this circuit, perhaps even more than it was in Monza.'
Martin Whitaker, Ford European Director of Motorsport:
'We experienced no difficulties during the today's running with the Series 5 engine. As in Monza, we'll be fitting Series 6 engines for tomorrow's qualifying.'
Rubens Barrichello: Car no. 18: SF-2/05 Laps: 28 Time: 1:21.538 Position: 11th
'I think everyone was fighting for grip out there today. The track was quite dirty which caused a few cars to go off and the yellow flags were flying. We improved throughout the session but we haven't achieved the overall balance from the car that would lift us up the time sheets. I ran the new chassis for the first time which will take a little while to bed in. Tyre durability will be important if the weather stays as hot as it was today.'
Jos Verstappen: Car no. 19: SF-2/02 Laps: 26 Time: 1:22.566 Position: 16th
'This morning we didn't know whether the set-up we had chosen would best suit the conditions. We did a few laps of evaluation and decided to go for a major suspension change. The mechanics did a great job to complete the work and get me out for the last part of the afternoon session. The handling improved but I am still losing time at certain points on the circuit because of some understeer. We still have some way to go before we find an optimum set-up for qualifying.'