After Race Quotes



Round 2
April 11, Brazil - Interlagos
Mika Hakkinen
"I really enjoyed today's race although it wasn't without incident. Soon after the start I was changing through the gears normally and going flat out. I was pulling out a considerable lead on Rubens when I had a miss-shift and I thought that the game was over, but I dropped down a gear, accelerated and it was all fine. By that time I dropped to third. The team have done a great job since Australia and they did a fantastic pit-stop today which made all the difference to the final result. So, it was a tough race, both physically and mentally but a very enjoyable one."

Michael Schumacher
"I am very satisfied with this second place. It was not what we expected after yesterdays qualifying. The team managed to improve the car for the race and it was much better. When I was behind Mika after my pit stop, I could only push and wait and hope he made a mistake. But he drove a very good race. There are new developments to come in time for Imola, which should help us to close the gap even more. I am not worried about the points situation as we are still at a very early stage in the season."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen
"I am really happy with my second podium finish this season - I feel great! When I came to a stop before the finish, for an awful moment I thought I had lost third place, but then I got the message from my team that it was ok. Our strategy of stopping very late on our hard tyres worked very well. I enjoyed the race, especially after Fisichella pitted because I had been stuck behind him for a long time and it was great to make up time once I had a clearer track in front of me. It was hard work though, especially the first stint which was very long. Not until the race was over did I realise how uncomfortable I was in the last stages of the race. I had really bad cramp on the podium and could hardly move my right arm, but third place was well worth it! The team did a great job again and the car and engine were very reliable. I am very much looking forward to Imola where we expect to have even more improvements to the car."

David Coulthard
"I can't tell exactly what happened on the grid until we study the data but the car stalled and there was nothing I could do. Once I got started the car was quick, but I was careful to make sure I kept out of the battle between Mika and Michael. However, I then ran into gearbox problems. I lost fifth gear and I came in because we thought we would be able to do something about it. But when I went out again, when I got to fifth the whole gearbox seemed to explode."

Damon Hill
"I was extremely disappointed and rather angry when I was knocked out of the race. I did not think it was very good driving from Alexander as I had outbraked him and won the corner and he kept coming over until we hit. The knock damaged my suspension and put me out of the race. Luck has not been on my side for the first two races, but things will get better."

Alex Zanardi
"At the start the car was in good balance and I thought that I could have a very good race, especially as I had a lot of fuel on board. It was definitely good for just one stop and I was trying to delay the stop as late as I could then probably over take some people. I was keeping pace with other drivers. Then the differential went which made the car very difficult to drive. The team asked me to stay out and I drove as fast as I could but I am not yet sure what happened but I think there was a problem in the gearbox. I have to say that I don't feel that lucky as Ralf's car seems to keep going. It has been another difficult weekend but I have confidence that the Winfield WilliamsF1 team will get it right."

Rubens Barrichello
"Leading the race took me back to my Formula Three days. I made a good start and I was running at a good pace up until the first stop. I lost a bit of consistency with the second set of tyres and I was probably not running well enough to win but good enough to be on the podium. I think we showed that we can race up the front today. I could sense the crowd getting behind me, so its sad for them and for the whole team that we didn't get to the finish."




Round 3
May 2, San Marino - Imola
Jacques Villeneuve
"I am not sure what really happened, there was no warning. The engine was running but there was a problem with the gearbox electronics I think, and I couldn't go forward. There was no drive so I had to switch the engine off. It's enormously frustrating especially as the car proved on Saturday that it was fast and able run well. We had a good qualifying and high hopes for the race so it's really disappointing not to be able to even start this Grand Prix. We're going to have to make sure that things like this don't happen again, and hope to finish a race soon."

Mika Salo
"I had a good start and passed quite a few cars. Things went well for a while, but then the engine sound went flat and I lost a lot of power and all the gain I had at the start. That was the reason I couldn't keep up with anybody and I got passed on the straights. We did have a really good pit stop and everything went smoothly. On the last lap when I came to brake in the last corner, the engine seemed to die and I came straight into the pits and that was it. Although the car stopped on the last lap we were classified seventh so that is great. The team now has to investigate the cause of the failure."

Alex Zanardi
"It's a real pity. I had quite a bad start but I felt that the car had a good balance. During the race I lost a lot of time because of some strange electronic problems that we hope to detect. Anyway, my week end was going to have a happy ending and I was seventh and had only two laps to go when Herbert's engine broke in front of me. I did not expect that much oil to be on the track and when I hit the oil I could not avoid spinning off... We hope for better luck in Monte Carlo."

Ralf Schumacher
"I was happy because I made a good start and the car was behaving well. I was fifth and keeping pace with other drivers and I thought I could score a very good result, finishing once again in the points. But on lap 29, after my first pit stop when almost at half distance, I suddenly felt a dramatic loss of power, saw smoke coming from my car and had to stop on the trackside."

Rubens Barrichello
"First of all, I want to dedicate this podium finish to my friend Ayrton Senna, wherever he may be. I am obviously delighted, not just for me but for the mechanics and the whole Stewart-Ford team. The car ran faultlessly all weekend, and proves what progress we have made. We may not be a match for the McLarens and the Ferraris just yet, but I think we are proving ourselves the best of the rest."

Johnny Herbert
"It was a shame I was unable to finish the race. Everything had been going well until then and we had no indication that the engine was about to fall. After a disappointing qualifying session I was looking for a point finish today and was nearly there. Rubens' performance shows that we have improved our reliability and I believe things are looking good for Monaco."

Damon Hill
"This is the first race I have completed since Suzuka last year and it felt great - although exhausting in this heat. This result was very important for me, not only giving me some points but also the chance to get to know the car a lot better in race trim. I made a good start, but then got squeezed out before the first corner so lost all the places I had made up. Towards the end of the race I was closing on Barrichello, but the backmarkers were causing me problems and then I had to let Michael Schumacher go past, so I lost time and was not able to catch him. The results keep coming for the team and our race performance is very impressive."

Heinz Harald Frentzen
"What happened was really disappointing, as I had a very good chance to finish on the podium again or at least to win more points. I was about to come in for my second pit stop and had a good gap over Rubens, so if my second stop had been as good as my first I would have passed him. But I spun on the oil from Eddie's engine - these accidents happen and it was just unfortunate that the marshals did not react quickly enough and provide me with any warning."




Round 4
May 16, Monaco
Michael Schumacher:
"Ferrari coming first and second in Monaco which is such a unique race on the calendar, is the best thing you can do in Formula 1. Making the best start allowed us to adopt our planned strategy. I had to push hard before my pit stop to build up a big enough gap. After that I was able to take it easy and just bring the car home. My compliments go to all the other drivers who played it fair and square when I came up to pass them. Being a Ferrari driver is special. Winning with Ferrari is extra special and being the most successful Ferrari driver is something I will probably only appreciate when I retire and look back on my career. This circuit might have suited us better than Barcelona, but we have an intensive development programme to work on before the Spanish GP. It is a nice feeling to go to the next race with this cushion in the points table."

Eddie Irvine:
"Qualifying well here is important but having a good car for the race is just as vital and my car was good today. I had to get past Coulthard at the start, otherwise he would have slowed me down. We were so close in qualifying and after the morning warm-up I had an idea I would be able to narrow the gap in the race. For the first 20 laps, my car was doing strange things and wobbling, as if the tyre pressures were wrong. But then, as the fuel load went down, the car got better and better and I was able to attack Mika and pass him in the pit stops. My one mistake came at the chicane and that is the only part of this track where you can make a mistake and get away with it. As for the strategy, we looked at various situations. The two stops went well and I was able to close the gap when we ran into traffic. Now we need to work on the aerodynamics to be more competitive in Barcelona."

Mika Hakkinen:
"Pole position here in Monaco is a real advantage that I worked hard for but unfortunately I was not able to enjoy it. I made a really bad start with too much wheel spin. During the race I suffered with inconsistant handling couple with a very heavy steering load which probably means I had some sort of front end failure. However, I still tried to push hard which saw me have a couple of big moments and in the end I settled for third place points."

David Coulthard:
"Not my best start as I didn't get as much traction off the line as the Ferraris. I tried to get a feel for the car with the fuel level and as I got more comfortable with the car I was able to put in what I thought were competitive times. Then I started to have a gear selection problem and the team advised me that the gear box had lost oil pressure and told me pit which of course was the right thing to do because a terminal failure was inevitable."

Heinz Harald Frentzen:
"I am very happy with the team and myself. This is another good result. My race was against Rubens and we won that comfortably. The plan had been to keep up with him. I did not expect to be able to overtake him at the start so we just decided that I should stay close and make up time when he made his pit stop. As soon as he pitted I was able to pull away, and the late pit stop allowed me to jump in front of him. I closed the gap to Hakkinen a little, but catching him and overtaking him would have been quite different. The car and engine showed that we are competitive, and reliable."

Damon Hill:
"The accident [with Ralf Schumacher] was my fault. I was simply being too ambitious. Starting 17th I had to be very aggressive with my strategy and I decided that after two laps that I just had to try and overtake. Ralf was defending his line so I do not blame him at all. My weekend did not go well - it was not to be!"

Rubens Barrichello:
"It's a pity my race ended like it did because Monaco is notoriously difficult for overtaking and I'm sure I would have been able to hold my fifth position until the finish. The car ran reasonably well though I wasn't able to find consistency after my pit stop. I got so close, just five laps from the end, which was a shame." Alexander Wurz: "I didn't have a great start as I lost a position to Zanardi. He was really slow and held me up for quite a few laps, but then he made a mistake and I was able to overtake him. I am happy with sixth place and overall it is a great result for the team as both Giancarlo and I finished in the points."

Giancarlo Fisichella:
"On this circuit I had hoped to finish higher than 5th place, but after such a hard race on such a difficult circuit, I am pretty happy with this result. In the first races of this season I have been in the points three times out of four and this really underlines the reliability of our team. We know where we need to focus to maximise performance, so I am optimistic for the rest of the championship."

Alex Zanardi:
"The car definitely needs to be improved and we cannot be satisfied with our performance. Furthermore I had another black day, even if it was almost funny. In fact, my seat broke in the very first part of the race and I felt like I was floating in the cockpit! I made several mistakes due to this big problem and I often overshot the corners, because I didn't have any more feel on the brake pedal! Sometimes I couldn't even reach the pedals!"

Jacques Villeneuve:
"We decided to start with soft tyres, which proved to be a good choice as the car was running really well. Lap after lap it was getting better and faster. But when I came out of the tunnel and braked, I could feel that something was wrong at the rear and that was the end. It was a leak but I don't know if it was a hydraulic or oil leak. It's tough because you're there fighting ready to attack but you don't reach the end. And it's also the fourth race where I have to go home before the finish."




Round 5
May 30, Spain - Barcelona
Mika Hakkinen "It's great to be on the top of the podium again I really enjoyed it, the pitstops were excellent and all the guys did a great job. I was pleased with my start and once I was in front, as always, I had to maintain maximum concentration from start to finish. At one stage I slowed up but that was intentional. Now I am looking forward to Canada."

David Coulthard "I got a good start to the race and the first part of the race went well apart from the fact I was suffering from a little oversteer. I radioed in and they adjusted the tyre pressures to counteract this, but in fact the adjustment gave me understeer as well as the previous characteristics. However, the third set were much better and I was able to push harder again and put some time in between Michael and myself."

Michael Schumacher "The car felt better today in the race than it did in qualifying. I was stuck behind Villeneuve for a long time in the early part of the race. I might have been able to move up from third to second, if I had not been delayed by another car when I came in to the pits for my second stop. We knew this was going to be a difficult circuit for us, but all weekend we performed better than I had expected and a big part of that is down to the team. Thanks to them, I managed to pick up another four valuable points. It's good to know we are not far off the pace as we now head for circuits which should suit our car better than here."

Eddie Irvine "I got off the line well, but then I had too much wheelspin. I was surprised at the lack of traction. Being on the dirty side of the track certainly did not help. Coulthard was very close and braked earlier than I expected, so I had to brake too, which allowed Villeneuve to come past. My only actual problem was when the fuel flap came open. I don't think we should have so much testing at the same track the week before a Grand Prix as it always seems to make for a dull race. I wish I had my stereo in the car to keep me amused!"

Ralf Schumacher "After only qualifying in fifth place I'm very happy to finish fifth," said Schumacher, who slowed towards the finish with a suspected water system problem. "The performance of the car was good in the race and there is no reason why we can't score more points in the forthcoming races."

Jacques Villeneuve "I made a great start which surprised me as all my practice starts this weekend hadn't been so good, but that was a lucky one. The car was really good and I was running strongly, easily able to hold off Michael until the first pit stop. In spite of a great effort from my crew, he only managed to pass me in the pit lane. After I rejoined one of the rear wing flaps collapsed, slowing me down and I was forced to come in for an unscheduled pit stop. I lost first gear when I tried to leave the pits, and that was unfortunately that. It was an encouraging race for the team, however, because we've made real progress, but now I need to get to the end."

Rubens Barrichello "I had one real chance for sixth place towards the end but overall the performance of the car during the whole weekend did not measure up to what we have achieved in the previous races. With the second set of tyres I was able to push and regain the time I lost with the backmarkers and the blue flags. But with the third set the car became very unstable. I was pushing hard and was able to catch Trulli but I lost downforce as often happens here and I wasn't able to overtake."

Johnny Herbert "It's frustrating to notch up my fifth straight non-finish. As I was coming in for my first pit stop I felt the gear shifting was a little strange. Just before my second pit stop I felt something break and attempted to crawl back to the pits but I just couldn't make it. We decided to change our pit strategy from three stops to two because I found myself mixing it with the pack early in the race and it was the only way I was going to be able to stay in touch. It's been another tough weekend - even my change of helmet design didn't bring me much luck!"




Round 6
June 13, Canada - Montreal
Mika Hakkinen: "It was a fantastic race, I really enjoyed it and I am really pleased to have changed my luck at this particular circuit. I felt very comfortable with the car and I was able to match Michael's pace and at the same time look after my car. Then to my surprise I saw him go off and I just concentrated on maintaining the right pace to win the race."

Giancarlo Fisichella: "I am so pleased with this result today. Canada is just a fantastic place for me, and maybe a lucky place too as this is my third podium here in three years. My target was to score some points so second position on the podium is just perfect. The strategy was faultless, just at the beginning I had a really heavy fuel load and quite a lot of understeer. When I lost my second position because of Panis and Badoer I was really upset as they were one lap behind and wouldn?t let me overtake. Then when Frentzen went off I was back in second, although I think I could have caught him anyway. It is a great result for the team today."

Eddie Irvine: "I am happy with third after such an exciting race. I started slowly to look after the brakes and when I pushed, then the safety car came out. Coulthard managed to get a run at me because a backmarker put dirt on the track and I had to slow. We were side by side, he clipped my back wheel and I spun. Then the fun began! Herbert was quick on the straight and as we came to the corner, I braked on the limit and had to cut across the grass. There were other exciting moments, like when we were three abreast going into the first corner. My car was perfect - the best racing car I have ever driven."

Michael Schumacher: "I lost control of the car at the last chicane, because I went off the racing line and got on the dirt and ended up in the wall. This was clearly my mistake. I apologise to the team, who again did a great job this weekend. It was a shame because the car was working perfectly. I usually make one mistake a year. I hope that this incident was the last for the season."

Jacques Villeneuve: "It was my mistake - I was simply going a little bit too fast. There was a lot dirt down on the track at that point, it was easy to make a mistake and I lost control. I was pretty annoyed because (Pedro)Diniz (Sauber) overtook me under the yellow flag while the safety car was out and I was pushing hard to catch him. It's a pity because the car was much more competitive in the race than it had been in qualifying, and it didn't get to the finish because of its driver."

Eddie Jordan: "Canada used to be lucky for us, but not today. Heinz's accident was nasty. What happened today is an enormous shame, because Heinz and the team did a fantastic job. It is a bitter pill to swallow. The most important thing is to make sure Heinz is not hurt and to get him back to the fantastic form he has been showing us all season."

Alex Zanardi: "Once more bad luck for me. I had problems with my brakes which eventually caused a diversion into a gravel trap. At the same time my gearbox ceded to function. A very disappointing day for me and the Team."

David Coulthard: "I had a little bit too much wheel spin at the start but I got away and was able to re-pass Fisichella reasonably easily. Later in the race I managed to get half a car's length ahead of Eddie going into one of the corners and I was a bit surprised when he went around the outside and turned into me, then we touched as I didn't have anywhere to go. I guess in reality it was really a fifty-fifty situation. After that I came in for a quick wheel check but I must have bent the suspension a bit as I was crabbing down the straight. My race was then somewhat hampered when I misread the flashing blue/green lights at the exit to the pit lane and suffered the relevant ten second penalty."




Round 7
June 28, France - Magny Cours
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "I am delighted and very happy with the job my team did today. It will take time to sink in, but I am going to celebrate tonight - I am not sure how yet. The strategy worked very well and the team was able to keep me informed about the fuel and the weather. My pit stop took a long time and I was getting nervous until I realised the strategy had changed so that we could have a long second stint. The car was in good shape in all stages of the race and things worked out perfectly. This victory was nicer than my one in Imola, perhaps because no one expected it. It was really a tough race and we won it. After losing those six points in Canada, we have now struck back."

Mika Hakkinen: "It was great fun, so much happened and I really enjoyed myself. I felt very comfortable with the car and that meant I was able to push right on the limit for 80% of the race. As the rain started things got tricky and I made a mistake and spun trying to take the lead from Barrichello. It took me a while to recover but the challenge of driving back to the lead was satisfying. After my last pitstop the team told me to hold position and not risk loosing six points by attempting to pass what would have been an understandably very determined Frentzen."

Rubens Barrichello: "I enjoyed the race tremendously. To be leading again like I did in Brazil was a great feeling. At one point things were working in my favour with David (Coulthard) stopping early on and other people struggling in the conditions. I suddenly thought, 'this is going to be my day'. I knew I had to make a second stop towards the end, so I was concentrating on conserving fuel but there was so much going on that I had to tell myself to keep pushing as well. It was a bit of a balancing act. I had some really good, clean battles out there with Mika and Michael. In a strange way, I have a tinge of disappointment because with a little luck with the fuel I could have been on the top step today."

Eddie Jordan: "Heinz-Harald has produced one of the best turnarounds in Formula One, not only in the way he has driven for us since the beginning of the season, but most particularly because he had to come back from a serious accident in Montreal two weeks ago which put him in hospital. The strategy was perfect and, with Heinz's good driving, won us the race. Heinz drove within himself, didn't waste fuel or time on battling and made the most of the opportunity. He drove immaculately."

Michael Schumacher: "This was a pretty chaotic race for me. My radio stopped working early on, so I tried to communicate with the pits with hand signals. My first problem was that I was having trouble changing gear and the reason I slowed a lot at one point was that I only had first and second gear. So I came in and changed the steering wheel, but from this point on things did not really improve. The new set of tyres did not work. I am not sure why. At the end of the race I had a fun fight with my brother Ralf, like in our old karting days. Apart from my problems, we were clearly not quick enough in the dry. Thanks to a great drive from Heinz-Harald Frentzen, the gap in the championship has not increased too much, so congratulations and thank you to him. The Safety Car came out at just the right moment and stayed out for the right amount of time."

Eddie Irvine: "Everything that could go wrong did go wrong today. I was in neutral at the start and lost time as I had to select first again. I knew it was going to rain, so I decided to take it carefully at first. Then I started picking off cars one by one. When the rain came, I radioed the team saying "pits, pits." I thought they might not be 100% ready, but we had agreed I should come in anyway. It was a bad stop and without it, I might have finished higher. Then, I spun behind the Safety Car. The car was okay and I found I could catch up with Michael quite easily. I could have done a one stop race as we started with a lot of fuel. Basically, we made too many mistakes, which is not normally the case. Our car was quicker than our main competitors and we missed an opportunity."

Jacques Villeneuve: "Today's conditions were incredible. I don't think I have ever driven with so much rain. I was together with Alex Wurz and we were trying to join the rest of the field, not going really fast under the safety car. But normally when you're in the middle of the group, the cars push the water away but we had been on our own for a little while and when we reached the chicane, there was so much water there, that I just went aquaplaning and spun off. The same happened to Wurz right at the same time. It's a pity as I thought we were going quite well in spite of the rain just before the safety car came out."

Jean Alesi: "Today I had no luck. From my fantastic place on the starting grid I had the opportunity to finish well in the points today. I was able to stay strongly in touch with Rubens Barrichello, but just before it started to rain I had to let David Coulthard by. The car and engine were going really well and after my pit stop, in which we switched to wet tyres, I was able to rejoin still in third place. Unfortunately, the track was really wet and there was a lot of standing water. When I braked for a corner the car spun into the gravel. It was my mistake!"

Ralf Schumacher: "I managed to get a good start and afterwards I could quite easily overtake several cars, including the Prost of Panis, although I was struggling a bit. The safety car came out at the right moment because there was a lot of water on the track. The FIA made for sure the correct choice, as its decision came absolutely at the right time. When the pace car went back in, I felt quite comfortable with my car and I could also overtake my brother Michael: I have always a lot of pleasure whenever I'm fighting him. I am happy that, thanks to this fourth position, the team has another three points. Hopefully in Silverstone we will have a better qualifying position that will make it easier to achieve a good result."

Alex Zanardi: "It was a tough race today, due to the bad track conditions. On the 27th lap, when I was trying to reach the pace car, I lost grip on a huge puddle. The car went slightly sideways and I think too much water went into the air box, because the engine stopped."




Round 8
July 12, Great Britain - Silverstone
David Coulthard: "That was fantastic. I feel fantastic. I realised that when my team got me out in front of Eddie after both pitstops, that, so long as I kept out of trouble, I could win this one. It was the most nerve wracking time of my career but to win the British Grand Prix is the best feeling ever. My best wishes go to Michael Schumacher whom I hope makes a speedy recovery."

Eddie Irvine: "I am sorry if my remarks in the press conference about Michael's accident were misunderstood, but I was unaware until after the conference that he had been injured. I wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back in the car as soon as possible. I got a good start, then Michael came flying past me with the front wheels locked. I was driving flat out every lap. The car was 'on the nose' and I had to fight oversteer all the time. Any chance of a win was lost at my first long pit stop. I came down the pit lane and the McLaren crew was also out and it unsighted me. The result was I overshot my mark for the refuelling and that was the race gone."

Ralf Schumacher: "I am very happy with my third position, of course, even if it's easy to understand that it is not so nice to go back in the car if your brother has had an accident. Anyway, I knew that Michael was all right because the team kept me informed about his condition even during the race. On the other hand we are professional and the whole team relied on me and I had to do my job. I have to say once more thanks to the team, first of all for the impressive new aerodynamic parts that were fitted on my car this weekend for the first time, and then for the brilliant pitstops that allowed me to keep my position in front of both Jordans."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "This was another good race result. We were very close to third place but we were not quick enough in the first two thirds of the race, and although I caught up with Ralf at the end, I was not able to overtake him. Michael's accident looked really bad and I am thinking about him and how he is."

Damon Hill: "There was a lot of pressure before the race so I am very happy to have come through the trials and tribulations to finish fifth. All round it was great for the British fans with David winning and me having one of my best races of the season. I was unlucky at the start because I had a great start first time, but then the race was stopped. At the end of the race I had to back off because of a pneumatic valve pressure problem, but I managed to keep the car going. All in all it was a good and enjoyable race. The strategy was good and gave me a chance to race. The plan now is to have a few beers and think about the future. I am not going to make any decisions today. This whole weekend has been great in terms of the atmosphere from the fans for all the British drivers and I think they have put on a great show for the rest of the world. I had to shut out my emotions and concentrate on the job this weekend, but I am very pleased that the job was done and I had a good result for the team."

Pedro Diniz: "I said yesterday that I was looking forward to a good race, but it was a tough one with plenty of pressure. Fisichella in particular was strong competition in the closing stages. My car was pretty difficult to drive, with too much oversteer and my second pit stop was a little long, but otherwise things went quite well and I am really pleased to be in the points again."

Eddie Jordan: "It is great to see both cars finishing in the top five. It is a fantastic result for the home crowd. This time last year we had one point, now we have 31! I think this further strengthens our third place in the championship; we have moved away from Benetton and Stewart and even gained a point on Williams. Full marks though to Ralf, who did a good job and pipped us for third. The last four laps were touch and go for Damon because his car had a pneumatic pressure problem, so we told him to back off as we knew we had a good gap from Diniz. It was a great day for him and for the fans - a great British Grand Prix. After Damon's performance today, I am not so sure he will want to stop. It is up to him but the team is behind him and would like him to continue if he can drive the way he drove today. If he keeps this up, he should continue to the end of the season."

Mika Hakkinen: "I was pleased with my first start, but the race was red flagged early during the first lap just before Michael's accident - I hope he's back with us soon. My second get away was not quite so clean. Things seemed to be going well though until I came in for my first pit stop when I experienced some imbalance on the left hand side of the car. I came in for another pit stop but there was some problem getting my left rear wheel on and as you all saw it came off. Fortunately I was just at the entrance to the pit lane and was able to pit immediately. However, despite going back out again the team came on the radio and told me they had decided that I should retire to eliminate any potential risk."

Jacques Villeneuve: "Having to restart in the spare car was not ideal as it had quite a lot of oversteer, and it was difficult to drive in the early laps on new tyres. We adjusted the front wing at my scheduled stop to try and improve the problem and that helped. When the safety car came out I was feeling pretty confident because I was on a one-stop strategy and this gave us a good chance to get into the points. I don't know why the car suddenly stopped - we are still waiting to find out, but it's obvious that our reliability problem is still not sorted out."

Alex Zanardi: "I am glad I finished the race but of course I'm not excited with my performance. I will have to work on this and try to improve."

Rubens Barrichello: "The race was going really well for me - I was really enjoying my battle with Damon early on and I had Frentzen in my sights about mid-race, and he finished fourth. As for the puncture, it's just terrible bad luck. To have to throw away points like that is frustrating. I was charging at the end because you never know what can happen. If one or two of the guys in front had not made the finish then I had another chance to get back in the points. I was really pleased with the way I fought back. It's not very easy to overtake in these cars, but I think I showed it could be done."




Round 9
July 25, Austria - Zeltweg
Eddie Irvine: "I knew qualifying did not represent our true performance and because of that and the right strategy I was able to win. I have proved I can do the job. In the early stages, I was having to watch my fuel, but then I really made up time before my pit stop. The smoke from my car towards the end of the race was probably coming from my brain because I had to think about so many things - the fuel, the brakes the tyres. It was not just a case of driving. I had understeer on my second set of tyres but it got better after a while. Then I eased off a bit to look after the brakes, but Coulthard caught me quicker than I expected and I had to push very hard again and forget about my brake problems. I wished the chequered flag would come sooner. At last week's Monza test we made a big step forward in terms of running on high speed tracks, so now I am confident for Hockenheim."

David Coulthard: "Well, today was my nightmare scenario, not only did I take my team mate off at turn two but we came second to our opposition. I am very sorry for what happened with Mika. I completely misjudged the second corner of the race and hit Mika spinning him round. Then I was unable to put in quick laps just after my stop as I was caught in traffic this meant that Irvine was able to get ahead of me in the pit stops and I was unable to regain my lead."

Mika Hakkinen: "To come here and score points was important and we have done that. Whatever happened at the second corner is no longer important and I appreciate David's apologies. The car however, did not feel right after the incident but even so I just went flat out to regain positions and to finish in the points."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "Today was really a race against ourselves as we could not keep up with the cars ahead of us, but a fourth place finish is still good. It was hard to keep up with Barrichello when he overtook me at the start because I had a lot of fuel in the car. When the car was lighter it was running quite well but I saw that I could not overtake him so all I could do was keep pushing. When he dropped out, I had plenty of space ahead of me and behind me and my team told me to bring the car home so I did not go flat out."

Alexander Wurz: "This was a good race for me. At first my start was perfect then I lost a few places with the collision in front of me. I really found my rhythm with the circuit. My first set of tyres wasn't so good and I was sliding quite a lot. My second set was much better and I could really push and get in some good lap times. My pit stop was really good too and I finished fifth which is cool for me and for the team."

Pedro Diniz: "We decided to run with a low downforce set-up after our experience in qualifying yesterday and the car felt much better in the warm-up this morning. I made a great start in the race; I certainly didn't expect to be eighth after a lap. Early on, I had a good fight with Ralf Schumacher. He put me on the grass a couple of times when I overtook him round the outside and when we got to the hairpin he tried to come back at me, outbraked himself and spun off. I just managed to miss him. Our two stop strategy was right, given our grid positions. But when I found myself running so high up so early on, a single stop strategy would have been better, but by then of course we were already committed. Nevertheless, I had a good race and the car felt very strong." I'm really pleased to score another point.

Rubens Barrichello: "I got a good start and was enjoying the race. I wasn't able to make much ground on David (Coulthard) early on but I just had to keep pushing to hold second place. The car felt good and my pace was consistent. It's frustrating when you get the chance for points and they disappear like that. We have lost points too often this year when we have been well placed. After the pit stop, the car didn't feel as good on the new tyres. I think the guys who stayed out a little longer before stopping had the advantage because it took a couple of laps for the new tyres to work effectively on heavy fuel."

Ron Dennis: "Days like today can be used to strengthen a team. David's apology and Mika's acceptance of it reflects the maturity of their relationship. An outstanding performance from Mika which gave him a richly deserved podium finish. David's race was badly influenced by traffic in the two or three laps leading to his pitstop, the result of which very much assisted Irvine to take the lead. I hope Bernie appreciates our contribution to maintaining the excitement of Formula One!"

Jean Todt: "Today we have seen the right response from Eddie and the team to the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. We said we would not give up and this proves we did not. As usual, actions speak louder than words. It was a shame for Salo that he collided with Herbert, because he could have scored important points for the Constructors' Championship. But, there is still a long way to go."

Mika Salo: "I am not happy with my race result, however my speed over the weekend was okay, even though I made a couple of mistakes. I made a good start, but I had to protect my position at the first corner. Then at the second corner, with the accident in front, the whole pack slowed down, but I was carrying a bit too much speed and hit Herbert from behind. During the race, I seemed to have a lack of straight line speed which made overtaking difficult. On the plus side, I learned a lot today and at the next race in Hockenheim, I know that I have to score points to help Ferrari in the championship. Now that I have more experience with the car I think that is possible. I am really happy for Eddie. "




Round 11
August 15, Hungary - Hungaroring
Mika Hakkinen: it is a great feeling to be back on the winners podium once again. This race is a tough one, it takes a lot out of the car and the driver! By the time we had only ten laps left to go I thought if anything is going to go wrong it is going to be now so I was almost holding my breath. But it was fine. Over the weekend the team found a great package for both David and myself and to win is a fantastic finish to the weekend."

David Coulthard: "I was a bit surprised that I was passed into turn one and turn two, I thought that my reaction to the lights had been quite good but clearly I didn't pick up speed as quickly as the others around me and they managed to get passed. So, I had to bide my time and wait for the first pitstop in order to pass the two slower cars in front of me. After that I soon closed on Eddie Irvine. After the second pit stop, I obviously tried to put pressure on Eddie and I was glad to be able to take advantage of his mistake which allowed me to take second place today."

Eddie Irvine: "This is a disappointing result, but at least I have come away with four points, the first time I have scored any here. My start was as good as it should have been on that side of the track, but after just two or three laps my tyres went off badly and I was having problems with the front and rear of the car, which was jumping all over the road. I think we got a couple of things wrong, which we will have to look at very carefully in the debrief. It is unusual for us not to be quick in the race. Before my second stop I had been cautious but I pushed hard on my "in" lap and that meant I was able to get out ahead of Coulthard but I was struggling. I lost control of the rear and ran wide at Turn 5 and then got slower and slower as the tyres got worse. We have some new aerodynamic developments coming for the next couple of races, so hopefully we can be more competitive in Spa."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: The team did a very good job today with both cars in the points. I had a good start, everything was running fine and I am very happy to score three more championship points - it's my eighth finish of the season in the points, so it's very consistent. We were very fast at the beginning and I was in front of Coulthard, but I think my first stop was a little early and then I got stuck behind Fisichella and really lost a lot of time. So, perhaps our strategy could have worked a little better. The car was running perfectly, and now I am really looking forward to Spa-Francorchamps
.
Rubens Barrichello: "It's so hard to overtake here that we felt our best chance with our tyre choice was to go for one stop. Because the guys ahead were using softer tyres and were on two stops my aim was to keep up with the pack at the start and make sure of a clean stop. The crew did a good job. The car handled well considering the fuel load it was carrying. I'm relieved to finally get back in the points. I'm sure we can pick up more points before the season is over if we produce performances like today's. I'm really looking forward to Spa now after this result. I think the car will be well suited there."

Damon Hill: The start went well and on the strategy we had a short middle section which had looked promising and I ought to have come out ahead of Rubens but we hadn't counted on him making one stop. I was able to catch up and get within a second of him, but I couldn't get closer than that. I could have had a chance if he had been blocked by a backmarker or made a mistake, but about five laps from the end I had to back off because we had an air pressure problem in the engine, It was a tough race, but it's good to finish and score a championship point.




Round 13
September 12, Italy - Monza
Heinz Harald Frentzen: "This victory here is tremendous for me and the team, and I do not have enough words to express how I feel. The Championship battle is now really close - I cannot believe it. The team and Mugen-Honda have done a fantastic job to make the car fast and reliable. When I saw Mika go off I thought 'bad luck for him, good luck for me'. We have used every opportunity this year to score points when we can and today we made use of a fantastic opportunity. McLaren did not use their potential and if this happens in the next races it will give Eddie (Irvine) and me a chance in the Championship. If at the beginning of the season Eddie Jordan had told me that I would be winning races like this I would have told him he was crazy. It is hard to lead a race because you are in control and you are trying to maintain the gap, save the car and you can lose concentration - which is perhaps what happened to Mika. It is a lot easier to push someone from behind. Once I was in the lead I was trying to save the brakes, tyres and engine to finish the race without any problems and it is difficult when you are thinking about all these things."

Ralf Schumacher: "This is my best result this season and I am glad I achieved it here. The first few laps of today's race were quite dramatic, as Mika Salo and David Coulthard were trying to overtake me and I was trying to make my car as wide as possible. I have to say thanks to the team and as well to my team-mate who made it incredibly easy to get by him which allowed me to drive my race. Without his help I think I wouldn't have finished second today. Alex and I have an agreement: if somebody is quicker we help each other, because at the end of the day we are driving for the team to get the best result. No doubt that the FW21 has sensibly improved, I would say that it looks quite another car from what it was in Hungary."

Mika Salo: "This is an unbelievable result after two difficult days in practice. To go from 17th on Friday to third today is fantastic. You only have to look at my pit stop to see how well this team works. At the start Ralf (Schumacher) made his car very wide and I could not get by. Then he managed to get away from me when his team mate let him pass. Barrichello passed me because I could not overtake Zanardi as I was slow on the straight. But then a great pit stop helped me get this result. It was fantastic to be on the podium again and it was particularly emotional here in front of all the Italian fans. My car was a bit better today than at the start of the weekend. We are trying very hard to improve our car and we have new parts which we will be testing next week."

Rubens Barrichello: "I would like to dedicate this race to Gonzalo Rodriguez who we lost yesterday during qualifying for the CART race at Laguna Seca. He was a good friend and a real fighter. I spent a lot of the time before the race thinking about him. I'm really pleased with today's result. The car felt very good throughout the race and allowed me to drive very aggressively. The team did a great job giving me a car I could run at the front with. A podium finish was very close at one stage but we lost a little time during the pit stop. Third place would have been a nice reward for Jackie and Paul and the whole Stewart-Ford team and for my future fans here in Italy."

David Coulthard: "A difficult weekend in which I had a problem finding the balance of the car. The amount of times I ran off the circuit shows that it was a very troublesome race and I believe that I have to be content with two points."
Eddie Irvine: "I was a bit cautious at the start as I knew it was vital for me to finish the race and that might have cost me one or two places. Changes to the car meant that it was quicker in terms of top speed, but it was bad on the kerbs. In the end though, I got one point and my nearest rival got none. Now we are going to circuits which will suit our car much better and we will be in a much stronger position to fight for the wins. We knew we would struggle here. I was not worried about Zanardi at the end. I had backed off to make sure I got that valuable one point. At least it feels good to be leading the championship again. Now we must work, work, work. "

Mika Hakkinen: "Naturally I am very disappointed to have made a mistake which ruined the chance for me to extend my lead in the championship. After the start I pulled out a pretty good lead and I was feeling very comfortable with the car when on lap 29 I went into the first chicane, which I have taken all weekend in second gear and I made a mistake and selected first. The rear wheels partially locked up and I spun off with a stalled engine. Of course I am upset with myself but I will make sure this is the last error I make this year."

Alex Zanardi: "I could feel something hitting the ground underneath the car early on in the race, around the third lap. It got so bad during the race that it was picking the nose off the ground. Unfortunately, it appears like the floor had come loose. I send my congratulations on a great result to Ralf."

Jacques Villeneuve: "It was an exciting race, and the car was competitive from the first to the last lap so that I was able to keep pushing. At the start I was probably a bit cautious and could have made up a couple of places if I had been more aggressive, but then I felt that everything was going well, and I was sure that I could finish so I was not worrying about the reliability. In fact I was able to have some fun because the car allowed me to attack. The guys did a great job at the pit stop, allowing me to get in front of Hill (Jordan). Today has been a very positive result and now all we need do is to get some points."




Round 14
September 26, Luxembourg - Nuerburgring
Johnny Herbert: "I'm absolutely over the moon. It's particularly pleasing for Jackie since this is the last year the team will carry his name. It's also a fantastic result for Ford Motor Company because they showed a big commitment by purchasing the team earlier this year and have now stated their intention to win the World Championship with Jaguar Racing. A big credit also to my crew, Gary Anderson and my engineers - they did a great job. When I was in the lead, I was just hoping and praying towards end that everything would hold together. I was able to relax a little since I had quite a gap down to Trulli. I was able to change the gears earlier and brake earlier and just concentrate on not putting too much strain on the car. After what was not a very good qualifying I had not expected to be top of the podium today. There is always an element of luck in a race and today was our day."

Jarno Trulli: "I am truly very happy. It is my best result in Formula One and I am overall very happy for the whole team. Everyone has worked fantastically well. At the start, I had a bit of a clutch problem and I got away pretty slowly. At the first corner, I avoided the accident but lost some places at the same time and collected some debris on my helmet and one of my hands. When it started to rain, the pits called me to come in and change to rain tyres, but I looked at the sky and saw it was clearing and the track was still dry. I preferred to continue the race. After my first pit stop, I went out again on slicks but eight laps later it rained harder. I came in for rain tyres and enough fuel to reach the end of the race, and then I was fastest at that time on the track. I went for slicks at my last stop and afterwards was careful., It was then that Barrichello, faster than me, caught me. Knowing the circuit well, I knew where to take a dry line and a few laps from the end, I had not intention of letting him take my second place."

Rubens Barrichello: "From the bottom of my heart I'm really happy for Johnny because he has had such a difficult time this season. However to be honest I have two hearts because even though I'm pleased for Johnny it would have been nice to have been the one to bring the Stewart-Ford team its first victory - particularly since this is my last season with them. But I don't want to take anything away from Johnny - he drove a really good race. I was trying so hard at the end to get past Trulli but just couldn't manage it. The only place I could overtake was at the Chicane but I had seen what had happened to Alesi and Irvine there and didn't want to risk too much."

Ralf Schumacher: "I feel that I narrowly missed a good podium opportunity today. My car was really good and even in the wet conditions it was very quick. Today's race was heavily affected by the mad weather and resembled yesterday's qualifying which was, as I said, a gamble. We made the right choice in terms of which type of tyre to put on but I was very unlucky, as I had a puncture to my right rear tyre when I was leading the race. I couldn't make it into the pit lane, so I had to drive a whole lap with the tyre in that condition and unfortunately the tyre exploded. If course it is good to have three more points under my best, even if I can't stop thinking that it could have been... ten!"

Mika Hakkinen: "Today I scored two very hard earned but valuable points. We will now build on this as we focus on the next race in Malaysia."

Marc Gene: "I am very happy for the team because this is the result of a whole year's work. The car was very good. Gustav Brunner and the technical staff made a very competitive car. Today Fiorio's strategy proved excellent. Also, my engineers did an extraordinary job setting up the car in the best way. I therefore feel truly satisfied especially for the team; they have been waiting for this outcome for a long time. They all did an extraordinary job."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "Today was a huge disappointment. It feels awful to drop out of the race when you are leading. Everything had gone so well for the first half of the race and the team did a fantastic job in the pits to get me out ahead of David (Coulthard) but as I came out I seemed to have an electrical problem. We are not sure what it was and we need to analyse it. Our strategy had worked well and I was able to hold back the McLarens which felt really good. But these things happen in motor racing and a lot of driver did not finish the race today or were outside the points. What it important is that Pedro (Diniz) was not hurt because this is the only thing that matters."

David Coulthard: "I am very disappointed to have gone off in these conditions, as I had a good lead and it is more acceptable to go off whilst you are chasing, than when you are leading. I am sorry for the team for that. It is the first time I have put the car off in a race this year, but that is little consolation."




Round 16
October 31, Japan - Suzuka
Mika Hakkinen: "As soon as the lights changed, I immediately realised I had an advantage., By the time I shifted into second gear I had a one car advantage and I knew at that point all I had to do was keep the position. Deciding the championship on the last grand prix is nerve-cracking. I really do not recommend that to anyone."

Michael Schumacher: "I think the two championships ended in a fair way today, with Ferrari winning the Constructors' title and Mika the Drivers' crown after he drove a fantastic race. He is a great champion. Ferrari can be proud because it is a great achievement as it is not easy to beat such a strong team as McLaren. Already at the start of the formation lap, I realised something was not operating correctly and the same happened again at the start, when I had too much wheelspin. The handling of the car in the first part of the race was not perfect. In the second stint I was able to close the gap, but it was too late. Then another driver held me up, which cost me at least 10 seconds. Without that, maybe the race could have been closer."

Eddie Irvine: "Third place was a good result for me, given the problems I had in qualifying. I made a good start, but could not get between Coulthard and Frentzen, which is why Panis passed me. I had problems with the differential which were cured at the first pit stop. But by then there was no need to push any harder. My neck was beginning to hurt towards the end, after my accident yesterday. I had a pretty boring race, just watching the TV screens to see if anything would happen to Mika. At least Ferrari has got a consolation prize in the form of the Constructors' Championship, even if it is not the one I was really interested in. But it is a nice leaving present for the team. At first Coulthard was pushing me, then after the pit stop, he was holding me up, but we knew there would be games today! I have to say Mika did a fantastic job today. He deserved the title and he won it in style."

Ralf Schumacher: "First of all I want to congratulate Mika Hakkinen, because it has been no easy job for him to win the championship. With regards to my race today, I had a good start but after that I had to stay behind Heinz Harald and, although I was generally quicker, it was not possible to overtake him. A fifth place is fine even if, of course, I was hoping that I could achieve something better, mostly to help my team in the Constructors' Championship. At the end, I want to thank the Williams F1 team for the good co-operation they gave me throughout the season. We now look forward to working next year together with BMW and I am quite sure that we will do a great job."

Alex Zanardi: "In my first lap I experienced an electrical problem that put too early an end to my race. The pitlane speed limiter activated itself and when I tried to release it the engine went into neutral and shut off, so all I could do was park the car. It's a pity because I was 9th at that moment, having gained five positions at the start and overtaken two more cars in the first half lap."

Frank Williams: "A fine end to the championship - disappointing for Ferrari but I think that McLaren and Mika overall looked like champions for most of the year. Ralf again did an outstanding job for us but we're very disappointed with Alex's lack of opportunity to race. I would like to congratulate Mika and McLaren on an outstanding Drivers' World Championship and the same to Ferrari for the Constructors', which is equally important, in my opinion."

Olivier Panis: "We were going for a great race weekend, and I can't feel any other way than very disappointed after retiring. Since the middle of the season, in fact since Didier Cotton and Kéké Rosberg have started to take care of my business, I was able to concentrate on my job as an F1 driver. Finally I could devote 100% on my work with my team and fight to win. For my last GP with the team I really wanted to do something special, and I was on the right track for that. I made a very good start and completed my 18 laps of the race in 3rd position. My car was feeling wonderful and everything was great until an alternator shaft failure just after my first pit-stop. This cut all the electrics on the car including those to the gear box. It's one of those things… I think I have proved during the second half of the season, that I am still a good driver and this will be helpful for my future. I take my hat off to all the team for all the work that has been done. We have progressed a lot in the last two years, which will give encouragement to all during the off-season. But they mustn't rest on their laurels – there is a lot of potential for next year, but also still a lot of work to be done."

Jarno Trulli: "This morning I had a good feeling with my car, which was well balanced. Even though I broke my gear-box, I was 8th in the warm-up with one quick flying lap only. Before the race I did my installation lap and found that all was well with the car. During the formation lap, I made a start and felt immediately a problem with the clutch which gave me a lot of wheel spin. I lost two places and following that the engine seemed to lose power. During the fourth lap I had to stop for a reason we can't determine until we have stripped down the car."

Alain Prost: "In spite of everything we have finished the 1999 Formula One season on a high note. Olivier qualified in 6th, Jarno in 7th place. Olivier made a fantastic start, but sadly our reliability left us. Jarno had a problem that we haven't identified yet and Olivier a problem with the alternator. He can only be very frustrated for this afternoon's race because he could have hoped for a podium finish – I would have been very happy for him. Anyway the team is on the right track, but to combine performance and reliability we still have a lot of work to do. Thank you to all the team for this season of constant progression, even though at times it was not easy…"

Jacques Villeneuve: "It has been a difficult year and today was again hard. I was attacking during the whole race, same as in qualifying, but it wasn't enough -the car was at its limit. Now we can look forward to next year without looking back."

Ricardo Zonta: "It was not a very exciting race for me. I had some understeer at the start and then we changed the front wing at the first pitstop. The balance was good after that but I still had no grip. I'm pleased for my mechanics and all the team that we finished the race, and now we have to look forward to next year."

Luca Badoer: "I am happy to have given my contribution to the Team's steady improvement which allowed them to become closer to the times of the top cars. This bodes well for next year. It's also very pleasing to help them to achieve this 10th place in the Constructors' Championship which is so important for the Team."

Marc Gene: "I am sorry I failed to finish this last race and more because so far my car has proved to be always reliable. But I'm aware that it is not possible to finish all the races; I did a good start concentrating myself to overtake Takagi. I then was in the wake of Zonta's car keeping Fisichella behind me who was slower. My car was going very well and I, therefore, was doing my race pushing hard. Unfortunately I experienced a gearbox failure. I am, however, happy for the Team because we hit our target: we are tenth in the Constructors' Championship."

Johnny Herbert: "I was fighting to keep up with the pace for most of the race because I couldn't find enough low speed traction. I got in front of Jean Alesi after the first pit stop and found a bit of breathing space. However, for the second stop, I came in right behind one of the Arrows. The crew seemed to be caught out which meant that the stop was slow and I lost the advantage I had over Alesi and he rejoined in front of me. It was frustrating not to get a point but the main task was to hold onto fourth place in the Championship which we did. We have made a big improvement this season and laid solid foundations to be able to take a further step forward with Jaguar Racing next year."

Rubens Barrichello: "It's been an absolute pleasure working with everyone in the Stewart-Ford team and I want to thank each and every one of them for the effort they have put in and for the belief they have shown in me. I want to say a special thanks to my engineers Andy Miller and Robin Gearing for the car they have given me this season. My aim was to help the team finish as high as possible in the Championship and I'm pleased that with the support of everyone in the team I was able to get the job done. I leave the Stewart-Ford team with nothing but sweet memories."


* END OF SEASON *