Atlas F1 News Service

Today's Selected Quotes - Hungarian GP

Sunday August 13th, 2000

McLaren

Mika Hakkinen: "I knew that the start would be crucial, because it's almost impossible to overtake on this circuit. Normally the perfect start doesn't happen more than once a year and after my get away two weeks ago at Hockenheim I thought that my quota had been used up. Once I took the lead I was comfortable throughout the race and the entire team has done a fantastic job the whole weekend to optimise the car. I'm extremely happy to win and also to take the lead in the World Championship."

David Coulthard: "I didn't get a perfect get away today and was unhappy with the balance until after my first pit stop when I felt I really could join the race. I was so close to Michael and was really putting on the pressure but unfortunately on a couple of occasions I was struggling to lap some of my competitors."

Ron Dennis: "An almost perfect race. A tremendous start and drive from Mika with David maintaining the pressure on Michael throughout the Grand Prix to claim a solid third place. We are pleased to leave Hungary leading both Championships and are even more committed to provide both drivers with an opportunity to win the World Championship."

Norbert Haug: "Mika had a great race. His victory may have looked easy, but it was tough to achieve - in my view this was one of his best drives ever. He now really deserves the lead in the World Championship. Unfortunately David was held up by traffic which prevented him from getting an even better result. The team worked perfectly and the race strategy was excellent."

Ferrari

Michael Schumacher: "All things considered, I am happy with second place. I was just not fast enough in the race. I had problems with wheelspin at the start in Hockenheim and so this time I was perhaps a bit too careful and that lost me some momentum. It was not such a bad start, but I could see Mika behind me and then he came inside me. I kept it tight, but he was there and in the end I had to open the door. Even if I had kept the lead, I think he would have passed me later or in the pit stops. Also with David it was a close fight, but we timed the pit stops well and so I was able to drive carefully to second place. Although we were quick on the first days we did not pull out enough for the race. We will have to look into that. We have some good ideas on how to improve, but I am sure our rivals also have. We will see at the end of the season who has done the best job."

Rubens Barrichello: "I think I lost my chance of a better result on Saturday when I didn't qualify well. After that, it was impossible for me to overtake Ralf Schumacher and so I paid the price. The pit crew did a fantastic job to put me ahead of him. I was too far behind the others and although I tried to catch them I could not. To finish fourth after winning the last race is not fantastic but it was the best I could do. It was a tough race in the heat. I ran out of water halfway through the race and I lost about one and a half kilos."

Jean Todt: "Today's result is a bit disappointing because after claiming pole position yesterday, we thought we could win. But Hakkinen was the quickest man on the track. However, it was very important to get both drivers to the flag, especially Michael who had retired from the last three races. For the first time this season we have lost the lead in the Constructors' Championship, even if it is just by a single point and Michael is now two points behind the leader in the Drivers' classification. We are back to where we were just before this race, but with the positions reversed with our main rivals. We can say that the championship will start again at Spa-Francorchamps."

Williams

Ralf Schumacher: "I am pleased with my fifth place, of course, even if I have lost one position to Barrichello, because I was delayed in my first pit stop due to a problem with a wheel, which didn't engage immediately. Anyway, I am not sure I could have kept him behind. I must say that our car was very good on this track, which helped me throughout all of this very demanding race, mostly because of the extremely high temperature."

Jenson Button: "A very disappointing race for me overall. I had a real chance of getting some points here today and we had an engine problem in the second part of the race, which obviously resulted in a loss of power. I was very aware of being caught up by the other drivers but I pushed as hard as I could here but it was to no avail at the end. We could have done better but we are looking forward to Spa, which is a circuit I have already raced at."

Patrick Head: "It was obviously disappointing for Ralf to lose a place to Barrichello. Unfortunately, we had a wheel nut stick in his first stop and damaged his position. We weren't really strong enough in the race to get back on to the Ferrari. Jenson was going extremely well but unfortunately some technical problem caused him to lose power. He drove an amazingly good defensive race but couldn't quite hold Trulli and Irvine back, losing a couple of positions. He was in very good shape and certainly I think he may have been in the points if he hadn't had that problem."

Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "With the two points that Ralf has scored for us we strengthened our third position in the constructor 's championship. In the last third of the race Jenson's car suffered a problem, which caused a great loss of power. We kept him going, as there was no risk for the duration or the safety of the engine. All in all we are satisfied with our performance throughout this weekend."

Jordan

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "This was the maximum we could achieve, so I'm pretty happy. It was one of the toughest races of the season and, given the problems we have with the tyres in such high temperatures, it was good to get a point at the end. We were not able to go any faster, the grip level of the tyres coming and going. It would have been easier to run closer to the cars in front had we not experienced the same tyre difficulties we had in France. But this is a good result against strong opposition."

Jarno Trulli: "Obviously, my tyres were wearing more than the opposition towards the end because they had fresher rubber. But I have to say that the car was pretty good, especially in the second half of the race when I was able to catch and pass Button's Williams. But, with qualifying being 50 per cent of the race here, I am pleased with the performance after starting from 12th on the grid."

Eddie Jordan: "It was a very difficult race all round,' said Eddie Jordan. 'But both cars finished and the guys did a fabulous job. Heinz did all he could and Jarno's strategy worked very well for him. A point is well worth having on a day like this."

Jaguar

Eddie Irvine: "It's probably one of the best races I've ever driven without reward -I had a lot of fun out there. That Minardi got in the way at a crucial time - I was dicing for seventh place and he cost me about 20 seconds over four laps because his team told him he was racing me, which is ridiculous. We had an opportunity to get some points but after about thirty laps I had a throttle problem that cost me about 20kph on the straight. I was very aware that Eddie was bearing down on me lap by lap but there was nothing I could do. It's frustrating but what can you do? I feel that we're getting there. If we package up the whole weekend we'll see but we haven't done that yet, it's as simple as that. We've yet to do have a good qualifying, good start, good stops, good race the whole way through. And that's why we don't have any points. Get it all together and there's no question we can challenge for points."

Johnny Herbert: "I had gearshift problems which developed around lap eight and continued until the end. The shifting wasn't very nice, and it got more and more inconsistent. When I spun with Jacques [Villeneuve] and Jos [Verstappen] - it wasn't in phase, and then it would sort of throw it into gear. But when it goes into gear it makes it go slower than the wheels are going, so it locks, like a brake. In the end it was stuck in a gear, and I thought if I carry on like that around the track I'd get in the way of everybody, so I just pulled off. Unfortunately it's another non-finish which isn't very enjoyable."

Gary Anderson: "It was always a struggle for Johnny from where he started, but eventually his race ended with a gearbox problem. Eddie's problem meant we had to bring him in earlier than scheduled and then he lost speed because we had to run with more fuel than he needed to try and remedy things."

Sauber

Mika Salo: "I thought I made a really good start as I stayed down on the inside, but unfortunately everyone seemed to be on the outside. When the guys in front of me braked I was hemmed in and couldn't move round them so I had to brake at the same time and lost three places in the first corner. I had a lot of understeer today, and towards the end it was so acute that I thought at one point that I had a flat tyre. What was really annoying was the Minardi that held us all up and bunched us together. That lost me a lot of time, and the trouble here is that it is so hard to pass even slow cars."

Pedro Diniz: "I was pleased with my race because I managed to overtake quite a lot of people and recorded good lap times. I stayed clear of traffic, pushed hard and exploited some great strategy from the team. Then with 12 laps left the car just stopped without warning. We still have to investigate why."

Peter Sauber: "After an unlucky start it was not possible here for Mika to recover lost positions on the track. But thanks to some good strategy he was able to overtake Wurz in the first pit stop. Pedro drove a strong race and thanks to a good, flexible strategy worked out in conjunction with his engineer and the whole team he was able to pass Irvine. Unfortunately he retired with a technical problem within the powertrain that we are still investigating. It is astonishing that so many cars were reliable in the high temperature we experienced today, and the important thing for us is that our race speed was again sufficient to outrun our closest competitor, Jaguar."

Benetton

Alexander Wurz: "The start was good and I pulled up a place. Before my first stop everything ran OK, but we stayed out too long and I got huge understeering on the last few laps and ended up losing a place to Salo during the stop. I came out into quite a bit of traffic so the team called me in early for my second stop. My last set of tyres were in quite bad condition and, in addition, I got a brake balance problem so I had to go easy to finish the race. So it was a tough and disappointing race."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I had a problem at the beginning with the brake balance which caused me to spin off twice. In doing this I damaged the car, so I came into the pits and the team changed the barge board. But the problem was still there and the car was too hard to drive, so there was nothing I could do but retire."

Pat Symonds, Technical Director: "This has been a very difficult race that hasn't netted us the result we would have expected from this circuit. Both cars may have had a similar brake balance problem, which is surprising as this is a system that has been running for several years now. In addition, we've not had the best of race balances and that made the cars quite difficult to drive. Overall, an unsatisfactory result and one that we will have to spend a lot of time analysing."

BAR

Jacques Villeneuve: "For once, I did not get a good start and found myself on the outside of De La Rosa at the chicane; we both braked very late, but I hit the back of his car. After the first pit stop, the car was really quick and I was able to get into a good rhythm with a clear track ahead of me. I got past a number of cars on the track, but you cannot make up for losing all that time at the start of the race. It's a shame, because the car was very good in race trim."

Ricardo Zonta: "I was battling with the car all day. In the first stint I had understeer when I was on the power, then after I pitted there was oversteer on entry to the corners. Finally we tried a change to the tyre pressures but it made little difference. The steering became heavy and I could not fight anymore."

Takefumi Hosaka, Managing Director, Honda R&D: "Jacques was quick today and his lap times were close to those of the top teams. It would have been nice to have found that speed one day earlier and that is an area in which we have to find some improvement. As I have said all weekend, the car is not as strong at circuits like this. We need to study the data from here and Monaco to address the issue, so that the results on these tracks are not wasted."

Craig Pollock, Managing Director: "This was a hugely disappointing result for the team, but at the same time there was considerable relief that the set-up on Jacques' car was able to get the maximum out of the chassis. We hope that this will give us the direction to have a good set-up for this type of circuit in the future. Jacques' settings were different from those of Ricardo today and this was reflected in the differences in performance during the race."

Arrows

Jos Verstappen: "I think it is good for the team that we made it home with two cars. It was a very hard race for us because our car isn't the best one for this circuit but we knew that before we got here. As Pedro said, it was good training and I'm happy that I finished. Now I'm looking forward to the next race."

Pedro de la Rosa: "I made a good start and the best thing was that it was physically good training for me, but the race was bad because on the first lap I was hit in the rear by Villeneuve which blew my rear tyre and damaged the rear suspension. I don't know exactly what was wrong but the car was difficult to drive. At least we managed to keep going until the end but there was no real hope for me to improve my position considering these problems."

Tom Walkinshaw, Team Principal: "We managed to get two cars home under difficult circumstances which is a positive step. Jos pulled up his positions well and Pedro was hindered by some damage to the rear of his car, but it was a good work out for us at a race we knew would be difficult. The team and drivers are working really hard which shows but we can only look forward now to the next race."

Minardi

Marc Gene: "It has been a very difficult race. My start was fairly good, I overtook two cars although they passed me at the second turn. Problems began with the overlappings: as Irvine got behind me, I was waved blue flags late, therefore I did not know whether I had to defend my position or I had to let him pass; I have asked the team what I must do but radios were not working good and I did not succeed in having a good communication with the pit-wall. So I didn't let him pass and I was given a stop and go penalty as a resutl. I feel sad for I caused Irvine to lose time but I didn't act like this on purpose; if I had been informed that he was overlapping me I would have moved away as I always do in these case. A part from this, the car was not bad however the race proved to be really tough, as I had expected. I hope it will go better in the next final races."

Gaston Mazzacane: "For the umpteenth time some mechanical problems hindered me like they did over the whole weekend. With only 10 laps left to the end I was informed that the water temperature was too high and I was called in to check what was wrong. It turned out that a visor had got stuck inside the radiator. Then I took to track again but the engine was affected by then and, on the in lap, it broke down definitively. A part from that, I feel sad for having lost the possibility to race in my car. In fact with a few minutes left to the formation lap a suspected gearbox problem was found on my race car. I therefore had to start from the stands with the spare car, which had been set up for Marc. Clearly there was no time to lose and I wish to thank all the lads for they really did an excellent job preparing the car in a very short time. Unfortunately the set up was totally different and this resulted in an additional disadvantage for me."

Gabriele Rumi: "Today's was a hard race, since the very beginning of the starting line up, as we found a problem on Gaston's car forcing him to start from the pits with the spare car which had been set up for Marc. A part from that, the only issue I wish to consider here is the 10 penalty given to Marc. Considering that the 'waved blue flags' sign never appeared on the monitors to report car no. 20 was being overlapped by Irvine and that the marshals did not wave the blue flags on the first two laps, we believe that this episode is to be attributed to a bad management from the marshals. What happened was not made on purpose and we apologised with the team manager of the Jaguar Team. Our car was never showed on the TV screen and when this happened finally, once we realised what was happening, we immediately informed Marc but unfortunately the penalty had been inflicted at the same time. With reference to Ron Dennis's complaints, I consider them totally out of place because he did not suffer any damage from us."

Prost

Jean Alesi: "With every lap, my steering wheel was starting to till to one side, because there was a problem with the left rear suspension. So I stopped in the pits and my mechanics tried to fix it. But the wheel had already changed its alignment too much, and the car had totally lost its balance. Therefore I decided to stop, given my position in the race at that moment."

Nick Heidfeld: "It was an unlucky race for us today. The car was definitely better than in all the practice sessions this weekend, during which we had not been able to find the right set-up. It is difficult to say how much better because I was held up behind Zonta. Soon, we detected a problem with the battery voltage, which was decreasing. For this reason, when I came in for my first pit-stop, the team asked me to keep the engine at high revs. But I had to lower the engine revs to obtain first gear, which was obviously incompatible with my problem. Even though the mechanics tried to help me by pushing my car, I had to retire."

Alain Prost: "I am really disappointed with the overall performance of our team today. We have had the same problems for a long time, and we are still not able to find proper solutions. It is difficult for everyone in the team to work in the present circumstances, but it is not a valuable reason for our lack of results."



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