Mean streets of Monte Carlo put brakes on British American Racing aspirations Monte Carlo, Sunday, May 16, 1999 - The mean streets of Monte Carlo took a toll on the British American Racing team today as both drivers were out of the race before...
Mean streets of Monte Carlo put brakes on British American Racing aspirations
Monte Carlo, Sunday, May 16, 1999 - The mean streets of Monte Carlo took a toll on the British American Racing team today as both drivers were out of the race before the halfway point in the 78-lap Monaco Grand Prix. Ferrari's Michael Ferrari ran away with the race, getting the jump on polesitter Mika Hakkinen of McLaren-Mercedes right at the start and never being challenged afterward. The German driver finished ahead of Irish team-mate Eddie Irvine, and Hakkinen was third.
British American Racing's Jacques Villeneuve was running in eighth, his qualifying position, when flames came out of the rear of his car and sidelined him on lap 32. Three laps later, Mika Salo was also out of the race when his brakes failed. He, too, was running in his qualifying position, 12th, when misfortune struck.
Salo was replacing Brazilian Ricardo Zonta for a second straight race. It was announced after the race that, following a medical examination today by the FIA, Zonta will not be able to compete at upcoming Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks and the Finn will continue to drive in his place.
Both drivers will join the British American Racing team at testing near Barcelona at mid-week.
Jacques Villeneuve - Retired Lap 32 "We decided to start with soft tyres, which proved to be a good choice as the car was running really well. Lap after lap it was getting better and faster. But when I came out of the tunnel and braked, I could feel that something was wrong at the rear and that was the end. It was a leak but I don't know if it was a hydraulic or oil leak. It's tough because you're there fighting ready to attack but you don't reach the end. And it's also the fourth race where I have to go home before the finish."
Mika Salo - Retired Lap 36 "The car felt very good before the start. The start itself was just a normal one, nothing in particular happened, but I started to have brake trouble three laps into the race. I had to back off a little, I couldn't push really hard. I was still fighting with Jean Alesi as I was coming up to the Loews hairpin, and I felt that the pedal had gone completely soft. Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do except drive straight into the wall."
Craig Pollock, Managing Director, British American Racing "I think after having such as good weekend all the way through until the warm-up this morning, I feel very disappointed for the team and everybody back at the factory because our expectations were so high as we knew we had a good race car for Monaco. This was proven during the race while Jacques was still on the track, and reflected in the fact that he was putting in laps equivalent to the top three cars. It is a great frustration when you do not finish the race with either car because of reliability or an accident. Both drivers put in a great deal of effort. Unfortunately, from the pit wall it looked as if Mika lost control as did many other drivers. But that's motor racing and we have to focus on the next race."