San Marino Grand Prix - 5th May The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team experienced a great contrast of feelings during the San Marino Grand Prix. Another storming start by David saw the Marlboro...
San Marino Grand Prix - 5th May The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team experienced a great contrast of feelings during the San Marino Grand Prix. Another storming start by David saw the Marlboro McLaren Mercedes driver take the lead ahead of Michael Schumacher and maintain his position until his first pitstop on lap 20. He was runnng second when he came in for his second refuelling stop but stalled. Having rejoined in fifth place, he was working his way up to a podium finish when an hydraulic failure forced him to retire on lap 45. Mika who was using the spare car, struggled with traffic in the early stages, then received a 10 second penalty for blocking Schumacher as he battled with Pedro Diniz. He had fought back to seventh when his engine failed in the final laps.
Mika Hakkinen: "OF course this is a disappointing result. I had problems with the traffic at the start of the race as the circuit was in a condition which makes overtaking difficult - unless something dramatic happens to another driver. Later in the race I received a 10 seconds penalty for blocking Schumacher. Then my engine blew, so it's been a very difficult day."
David Coulthard: "It's disappointing not to finish the race, especially as once again we showed that we are quick enough and deserving of a place on the podium. In the middle of the race the gearbox started to feel a bit lazy on the downchange, which may be part of the problem on my second pitstop when I stalled. Then we found out that I had lost hydraulic pressure and that's why the car stopped on the circuit. It's very disappointing because it was fantastic to be leading a race again. It really felt good to be at the front and it really pays for all the hard work that everybody at McLaren and Mercedes has been putting in."
Norburt Haug: "This was an encouraging step forward, having led the first 19 laps and spent two thirds of the race in a podium position. We have to work on the reliability issue, but look forward to the races to come."
Ron Dennis: "We led a race, which is something that we have not done for quite some time. Of course, it's where you want to finish, but hydraulic failure put paid to that with David. Mika's race was made more difficult by having to race in the T-car after a problem with the race car this morning. That car in turn suffered an engine failure. We are looking forward to a productive four days test over the course of next week and hopefully we will be even more competitive in Monaco."