After a troubled morning practice, solid work by the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda engineers and drivers made improvements which helped Jarno Trulli and Jean Alesi take impressive eight and ninth places on the grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix. 'Our...
After a troubled morning practice, solid work by the Benson and Hedges Jordan Honda engineers and drivers made improvements which helped Jarno Trulli and Jean Alesi take impressive eight and ninth places on the grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix. 'Our qualifying positions are better than we had expected so I feel this is a good achievement today,' said Trulli. 'It was a very tough session and I wasn't able to improve on my best lap time as I had to abort my last run due to traffic. From the data, it's clear that I need to find more speed to be competitive tomorrow, but I am looking forward to race as I think I have a good chance of scoring points from this grid position.'
Alesi set his best time on his final run after the team had found a good balance and fine-tuned the car to suit the circuit and Alesi's driving style.
'I am very happy with this result,' said Alesi. 'Achieving my best lap time at the end of the session was a really fantastic finish to today's qualifying. We found a set-up which worked very well for my driving style on this circuit and I would like to thank the team for doing such a great job. It may not be pole position but I am very happy with a top ten grid position and also to be so close to Jarno's lap time. For the race I hope at least to maintain my place and take advantage of the overtaking opportunities at this circuit.'
'It was a difficult qualifying session so Jarno and Jean did very well to finish in the top ten,' said Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive Officer 'It was impressive to see Jean so close to Jarno, who we know is superb in qualifying. They both took full advantage of the cars' current potential and we have a good chance to perform well in the race tomorrow.'
The 60-minute qualifying session was run in sunny, cool conditions, Michael Schumacher taking his 10th pole position of the season for Ferrari. It was a three-way fight at the front between Ferrari, McLaren and Williams, Schumacher beating an on-form Mika Hakkinen by two-tenths of a second. David Coulthard, seventh fastest, said his McLaren felt nervous with a light load of fuel. Ralf Schumacher, third fastest, said his Williams was struggling for grip, a complaint heard from many drivers as they traded downforce in the corners for less drag on one of the longest straights in F1.