Jarno Trulli produced his best-ever qualifying performance today when he put his Jordan Mugen Honda on the front row for one of the most prestigious races on the calendar. 'I'm really happy to be here!' he grinned while making his way to ...
Jarno Trulli produced his best-ever qualifying performance today when he put his Jordan Mugen Honda on the front row for one of the most prestigious races on the calendar.
'I'm really happy to be here!' he grinned while making his way to the post-qualifying press conference. 'I didn't expect this because of all the work we had to do after going the wrong way with the suspension on Thursday. The team worked very hard all day Friday looking at the data and working out what we needed to do. Even then, I was not completely confident in the car this morning. But it was getting better and it felt good in qualifying. In fact, I could have gone even quicker but I came across traffic - particularly on my last run. I just want to thank everyone in the team for all their hard work. The car now seems very well suited to this track and I am looking forward to the race.'
Despite recovering from a set back in the morning (when a trip into an escape road cost valuable running time), Heinz-Harald Frentzen was disappointed with fourth fastest time.
'I am very upset with Eddie Irvine,' said Frentzen. 'It looked like he had a problem with his car but he chose to still go into the tunnel even though he was going slowly. The light is bad in there and he endangered other drivers by doing that. It cost me and Jarno time on our last laps and I am disappointed because the car was fine, despite having lost that running time in the morning. It was nicely balanced for this circuit and I really feel there was more to come. The second row of the grid is okay, but it could have been much better, particularly at a track where overtaking is impossible and grid positions are even more important than usual.'
Michael Schumacher took pole position but the McLaren team struggled to either make their tyres work or find a clear lap. David Coulthard was third fastest with Mika Hakkinen back in fifth place behind the Benson and Hedges Jordan team.