MONACO GRAND PRIX 1997 - RACE DAY ================================= The fifty-fifth Monaco Grand Prix began just as the rain started to fall. The race ensued was subject...
MONACO GRAND PRIX 1997 - RACE DAY ================================= The fifty-fifth Monaco Grand Prix began just as the rain started to fall. The race ensued was subject to the vagaries of these new and unpredictable weather conditions which beset all the teams. The West McLaren Mercedes team were particularily disappointed to see both David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen retire early on in the race after suffering from the wet and slippery track which saw David spin off at the chicane after the tunnel; closely followed by Mika whilst trying to take unsuccessful avoiding action.
MIKA HAKKINEN 'As I came out of the tunnel I was travelling very quickly. I realised that the cars in front of me had stopped a long way ahead of the chicane and despite all my efforts to brake in time I couldn't stop and went into the back of the Benetton ahead. Naturally we are all very disappointed with today's performance but conditions for the race were a disaster.'
DAVID COULTHARD 'Having spent the weekend practising in fine sunny weather conditions nobody was really prepared for the wet, at least I was running on the right intermediate tyres, but my car was not really set up for the rain. I made a mistake and lost the rear end turning into the chicane after the tunnel. As a result I spun and in the process damaged the left rear suspension of the car.'
RON DENNIS 'The weather conditions were the same for everybody; some cars made it to the end of the race and many did not, including our own.'
NORBERT HAUG 'The first lap was a nightmare. David's mistake took both of our cars out. The best way forward is to achieve a good result in Barcelona.'