Monaco, May/15 / 1999 1999 MONACO GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING Hakkinen wins last ditch qualifying battle with Schumacher "A tense qualifying session at Monaco ended with Mika Hakkinen snatching pole position in a thrilling last-lap battle with...
Monaco, May/15 / 1999 1999 MONACO GRAND PRIX
Hakkinen wins last ditch qualifying battle with Schumacher
"A tense qualifying session at Monaco ended with Mika Hakkinen snatching pole position in a thrilling last-lap battle with Michael Schumacher. It was McLaren's world champion who had been in contention with the Ferrari driver throughout the session, and the two men completed their final laps only a few seconds apart. Making the correct choice of tyre was difficult because the superior grip of Bridgestone's Extra Soft alternative compound offered teams a temptation which some of them felt justified in accepting for this important race.
Yoshihiko Ichikawa, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "Congratulations to Mika Hakkinen on his pole position and for providing us with such an exciting session. After evaluating the tyres, the choice of the drivers was almost equally split between Soft and Extra Soft compound for qualifying and the race. This specification certainly allowed those who chose it to ensure better stability over a long distance. Although the teams with the extra soft rubber have accepted the risk of less durability, on the other hand it was expected that this softer rubber could have offered better grip during qualifying. As we predicted, the choice of Extra Soft tyres requires a very careful chassis setup."
Adrian Newey, West McLaren Mercedes, Technical Director: "The balance of the car is probably the most important fact in achieving a good performance on this particular track. We struggled to get the tyres working at their best this morning. In fact, we actually went slower with new tyres. But we kept trying to understand the performance of the tyres throughout the morning and afternoon sessions. Eventually we believe we have found the best possible solution."
Ignazio Lunetta, Ferrari Team, Engineer: "This morning we worked on the setup for qualifying and to evaluate the differences in handling on used and new sets of tyres. But after Michael's accident at the end of the second morning session we had to review the situation. Today's main job for it was to find a good set up for the car with new tyres as we realised that the balance changed on new tyres after the first lap."
TEMPERATURES AIR TRACK WEATHER Morning 19 21 Sunny - dry Afternoon 23 33 Sunny - dry