After a brilliant demonstration behind the wheel of the Toyota powered Jordan EJ15B that saw him secure the best ever qualifying position be a Portuguese driver in the history of the Formula One world championship (13th), Tiago Monteiro no sooner...
After a brilliant demonstration behind the wheel of the Toyota powered Jordan EJ15B that saw him secure the best ever qualifying position be a Portuguese driver in the history of the Formula One world championship (13th), Tiago Monteiro no sooner finished his breakfast the next morning when he was given the news that no driver wants to hear, there was an issue with his car just hours before he was due to race it!
The team detected serious problems in the clutch of his car that would more than likely hamper his progress from the sixth row of the grid, (11th place) inherited due to the penalties handed down to Jarno Trulli and Jacques Villeneuve. The Portuguese driver therefore had little choice that to, for the first time this season, start from pitlane.
Things didn't get much better unfortunately as the 17th round of the season will now be known as the one that saw his first retirement after he became the victim of a hydraulic failure in his single-seater.
"I had to start to from the pits due to a problem that needed repair, preventing me from enjoying my 11th place on the grid," regrets Tiago. "My new objective was then to beat Minardi and my teammate, Narain Karthikeyan."
"I lost a lot of time at the beginning of race behind Doornbos and Villeneuve, but all the same I managed two excellent stints when, combined with good pit stops, allowed me to move up the classification and in front of Narain and Albers."
"Unfortunately the mechanical problems caught up with me anyway, this time it was the differential and the hydraulic system. The steering became very heavy, then the car started to fail, and then stop... It is the first time that I have had a mechanical problem in the race - after 17 rounds - so really, I can't complain," he concluded, taking this misfortune in his stride.