Tough fight for San Marino Grid Positions Qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix proved to be a tightly fought contest. "â€œThat was an incredibly competitive session," said Jordan's Chief Executive, Eddie Jordan. "This season is going to...
Tough fight for San Marino Grid Positions
Qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix proved to be a tightly fought contest. "“That was an incredibly competitive session," said Jordan's Chief Executive, Eddie Jordan. "This season is going to be fascinating! It was very exciting with the drivers battling out for fractions of seconds. Let’s hope the race is as thrilling."
The contest was won by McLaren's Mika Hakkinen - who takes his third pole position of the season. Arch rival Michael Schumacher was right behind - indeed Hakkenin only stole P1 away from the German in the closing seconds of the session.
David Coulthard and Rubens Barichello will start tomorrow's race behind their team mates - the Scot in third place, the Brazilian in fourth. Behind them comes Ralf Schumacher who gave an impressive performance for the BMW Williams F1 team. Brit Jenson Button, however, had a disappointing day. Having suffered problems with his car all weekend, he could only manage to qualify 18th.
Benson and Hedges Jordan drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Jarno Trulli finished the session sixth and eighth repsectively. Although unable to find the extra fractions of seconds to keep the positions they had set in the morning practice, both Trulli and Frentzen (who will race in his 100th Grand Prix tomorrow) were pleased with the balance and running of their EJ10s, and optimistic about their race performance.
“This was a really tough session!" said Frentzen. "It was really tight with everyone fighting for those thousandths of seconds. Ultimately we could not quite find that extra time. But at least I am in the top six and the car is running perfectly so we should have a good race tomorrow.” “I did not expect such a tough qualifying session!" added Trulli. "The car balance was good but we just were not quick enough today. This was not helped by the fact that I had traffic in my penultimate run and then yellow flags in the final run. Still, we should expect to race well tomorrow.”
Jaguar's Eddie Irvine, who also celebrates his 100th race tomorrow, squeezed ahead Trulli to split the Jordan drivers. His team mate Herbert had a less successful day, qualifying 17th. Italian star Giancarlo Fisichella, who finished on the podium in the Brazilian Grand Prix, could did not find his form in front of his home crowd. He will start the race from 19th position, with only Mark Gene and Nick Heidfeld behind him.