Hungarian Grand Prix
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What the teams and drivers said - Sunday
Jean Todt: "A dream race with a dream team. I am very happy that Ferrari has secured its third consecutive Constructors' title and that Michael has won the Drivers' for the second consecutive year. It is fantastic to achieve this with a one-two finish and with four races still to go this season. Michael was simply fantastic and Rubens drove a stupendous race which gave us the Constructors' title. Michael has given him the winner's trophy from this race. This year's results speak for themselves and I am delighted for the team that Ferrari has reaped the rewards for all its hard work. There are still four races to go and we will do all we can to live up to our title in the races to come. This year's success is particularly sweet as we were up against two very strong rivals. This evening the entire team will dine together in Budapest and tomorrow we will return to Maranello to celebrate these titles with all the Ferrari staff. In fact, at the moment I am thinking mainly about all these people and their work which has contributed so much to this great result."
Michael Schumacher: "I might be a good driver but I am not good at finding the right words to describe this! It has been a beautiful weekend and we have done everything we could. To be honest, I did not have such a good feeling when I came here, but now with pole and the win which makes me equal with Alain Prost on 51 and the fourth championship, it is all too much for me. It is a great achievement for the team. They are wonderful guys and we have stuck together through the good and the bad times and I am really in love with all of them. They are such fun to work with. I cannot compare this title to the others: each one and each race win is different and special. In the early part of the race, I was trying to preserve my tyres for later and my first set was better than Rubens'. Later in the race he gave me a lot of pressure. Towards the end, I was worried about making a mistake, as one car was leaving oil on the track. I am very happy for Rubens' second place, for himself, for the fact it gave us the Constructors' title and for the fact he was a cushion between me and David. As for the rest of the season, I plan to keep winning races. Rubens has been a very important part of the team and if I can help him, I will.Ē
Rubens Barrichello: "I am very proud of my contribution to this result, proud to be Michael's team-mate and of being part of this success. I think it is not a coincidence that Ferrari has won the championship in the two years I have been with the team. I think the team and Michael both deserve this great result. As for the race, I had a wonderful start, but on my first set of tyres the car was a bit difficult. At the first pit stop I was so disappointed to lose second place and then at the second one I was so happy to get it back again. I pushed hard and got a very good ďoutĒ lap and that's how it happened. I never felt under much pressure towards the end, because it is impossible to overtake here. Basically, I was driving within my limits and had a good race."
Ron Dennis: ďThe driversí comments describe our race well. We tried hard but Iím sure the best we could have achieved was second for David and fifth for Mika. A small problem during Davidís second pit stop saw his second place slip away. At the end of the day, this is of little consequence as we are here to win which is what we want to do in the remaining races this season. At this stage its too early to look back on the season, as there are still races to win. However the fact is that Michael and his team have won and their consistent performance this season has to be acknowledged Ė well done to both Michael and his team."
Norbert Haug: "Congratulations to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari on winning the World Championships. We were as quick today and we want to finish the rest of the season on that level but with the results in the reverse order.Ē
David Coulthard: "Obviously Iím disappointed that itís all over but congratulations to Michael and Ferrari. I feel that I have improved a lot this season and performed at a high level but we have been unable to finish races consistently, which has cost me valuable points. In todayís race I was unable to get past Michael at the start and Rubens got past me as well. I believe it was a consequence of being on the dirty side of the track. The start is so crucial here in Hungary as its virtually impossible to overtake on the circuit, which I think, was obvious to everybody watching todayís race. During my first stint I was able to stay close to Rubens and I knew there might be a chance that I could get past him in the pitstop which I did. However there was a problem with the nozzle in my second pitstop and I lost a bit of time which meant that Rubens took second. Todayís result doesnít mean that Iím less motivated as I still want to win races this year."
Mika Hakkinen: ďDuring the first 29 laps of the race, I was stuck behind Trulli who was about 1.5 seconds slower per lap than me. It was only after his first pit stop that I could start to make inroads on Ralf Schumacher who by then was about 30 seconds ahead. My first and second pit stops were excellent but we changed the strategy so I only took a little fuel load in the second stop to see whether it would be possible to overtake Ralf Schumacher - unfortunately this didnít work because overtaking at this track is impossible if the driver ahead of you doesnít make a mistake. Then I had to come in for my additional fuel stop and that was it. The speed of my car was very good and the lap record is a small consolation for my efforts. Now Iím looking ahead to the next race at Spa-Franchorchamps.Ē
Patrick Head: "The first thing is to say congratulations to Michael and Ferrari on winning the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championships, and this was obviously a perfect result for Ferrari. From our viewpoint we were never quite on the pace this weekend. Ralf made the best job of the equipment he had to get his fourth, as the three people in front of him were the ones that qualified in front of him. Juan Pablo had handling difficulties throughout the race, but in truth this just wasn't a good weekend for him and his car, so we have got to try and turn it around before the next race in Spa."
Dr. Mario Thiessen: "This is the result of good team work under difficult circumstances. It is positive for us that Ralf scored three points and Juan Pablo made it to the finish. This shows we can be reliable in extremely hot weather conditions. We knew in advance the Hungaroring would not suit us, but it seems to be tailor made for Ferrari. BMW wants to congratulate Michael Schumacher and Ferrari on winning both titles in such a strong manner."
Ralf Schumacher: "This was the toughest race of the year. I was constantly fighting both oversteer and understeer. I had to work very hard to defend my position against Mika Hakkinen, which I managed to do. Although I didn't make the podium today, I am looking forward to celebrating my brother's fourth World Championship today."
Juan Pablo Montoya: "This was one of those weekends when nothing really worked for us. The car felt bad from the beginning to the end of the race, but I was determined to finish as the boys had worked so hard for me. What can I say, just a weekend to forget I think."
"Our strategy today worked perfectly, and a short middle stint
helped Kimi to get up with Nick Heidfeld and ahead of Montoya. Our plan
was to have at least one car finish ahead of Trulli, and this we did
easily with both. I'm very happy because we earned this point the hard
way. Nobody broke down to help us to sixth and seventh places, we did it
on merit. So thank you very much to the team and the drivers for this
excellent performance, which confirms the progress we have made since
Nick Heidfeld: "That was a tough but very satisfying point to score today. I was worried that something might break after my brush with Trulli at the start. I'd planned to go to the inside but I made such a good start I had to go to the outside to avoid lifting off. I was on the dirty bit of track and was lucky to get round the corner and keep my place. The car understeered a bit more after that, and the engine was cutting briefly and intermittently in Turn One, but nothing got any worse and I was able to take the last point. An enjoyable result, especially as nobody ahead dropped out."
Kimi Raikkonen: "I made a really good start and had got alongside Jarno Trulli, but when he and Nick touched in the first corner I had to back off a little to avoid contact. After that I had to chase Montoya, but our pit strategy was great and I had a spell in sixth place ahead of Nick and Montoya before my second stop. I dropped behind Nick Heidfeld after that and shortly after I'd rejoined the race the pipe to my drinks bottle became detached and sprayed me with liquid. I also lost a rear brake duct as I left the pits, but though that made the car oversteer a little more my lap times stayed the same, so it was okay. Everything felt fine."
Craig Pollock: "This was a difficult weekend from start to finish and we had expected to do much better. Iím particularly disappointed for Olivier and his crew but we have to work hard to make sure we solve the problem for the next races. Jacques held in there and drove a good race but we werenít fast enough. We have a lot of work to do before the next race to make sure we are competitive."
Malcolm Oastler: "Itís been one of those days Iím afraid. At this stage in the season we need to qualify well and be fast to score points. We didnít qualify well enough and the teams ahead were reliable so we could only move up to ninth from tenth for Jacques. Olivierís car broke down with an electrical problem, which we have yet to fully identify. We did attempt to rectify it but we were unable to put him back in the race. However, it was important from a team perspective to try to diagnose the problem here rather than back at the factory and the additional data we gathered was useful. Everyone has worked very hard for this weekend, so itís been a bit disappointing."
Jacques Villeneuve: "A disappointing race for the team today. We werenít very quick all weekend and we suspected a problem with the race car. For that reason we used the T-car in the race, which I was more comfortable with. We didnít have the aerodynamic developments on the T-car though so we were left with the choice of a car with less downforce or a car with a possible mechanical problem. Obviously we had to choose the one with less downforce so 9th was the best we could do today."
Olivier Panis: "I havenít been very lucky again. After the second pitstop I had a problem with the car and had to come back in. I stayed in the car for a long time working with the engineers to try to find out what was wrong and hopefully get back in the race. I have great confidence in the team. They worked hard all weekend but especially in the race today. Everybody wanted to solve the problem here so we can feel positive going into the Belgian Grand Prix."
Eddie Jordan: "'I'm afraid we have to say that, once again, we let Jarno down. We lost a real possibility of scoring points today and we are never going to take those points unless we finish races. We need to take a hard look at ourselves. On the other hand Jean, considering his lack of experience, drove a very confident and aggressive race. He got his car to the finish and I think if we can improve his qualifying performance then he will be well-placed for good race finishes. But we have got to make sure that our reliability problems do not let either driver down."
Jean Alesi: "For technical reasons, I had to take the spare car for the race. The start was not very good but I had the chance to overtake a Jaguar. Overall, this was my first race for Jordan-Honda and I had so many things to learn. I had to look after the front tyres at first, and then the rears. Then after each pit stop, it was the first time I had used a clutch control mounted on the steering wheel; so lots to learn. But now I have managed to finish, I feel much more relaxed about future races with the team."
Jarno Trulli: "I kept my position through the first corner. For the first four of five laps I was able to keep pace but then I had a drop-off in lap times. We were not competitive suddenly and then, in my first pit stop, I lost a few places because of a long stop. I tried really hard to push, I never gave up. I drove on the limit, attacking all the time but unfortunately the car was behaving strangely, sliding a bit everywhere. I had a lot of problems but I can't say at this stage how much that was due to the car and how much it was due to the track being slippery. Finally, I had to stop with 24 laps to go."
Bobby Rahal: "That's not the weekend anybody envisaged and it's difficult at this stage to know exactly why our performance was so different to our expectations. We've worked very hard on developing the aero package on this car and relative gains have been generated all season. This circuit, however, should have been kinder to us. Eddie admittedly made a mistake into turn one and it's a big shame to lose out like that but I question how realistic our chances would have been anyway. Pedro drove a hard and determined race and I couldn't have asked for more. We'll carry on developing the car in the hope that we can salvage some points from the remaining races."
Pedro de la Rosa: "We were expecting much more from this tight and twisty track and I am disappointed with coming away from the weekend with no points or even being close to fighting for points. We knew it was going to be hard after the morning warm-up session and my first set of tyres began blistering quickly after about five laps. My first stint was quite slow because of this and I was struggling out there with a lack of rear grip. After taking new tyres at the pitstop, my race pace improved a lot but I was too far back to make a serious tend in today's race. We've been made to look average this weekend and it's not an easy one to understand given our recent performances on high downforce set-ups. Nonetheless, we will continue to work hard and over time, I'm sure we'll get there. Progress has certainly been made this year but we are not there yet."
Eddie Irvine: "That's probably one of the shortest races ever for me. It was my fault completely. I was running down the dusty side of the track and simply went into turn one too fast. The back end of the car spun around but I couldn't catch it in time. It's been a very disappointing weekend from the minute we arrived. I haven't been able to get the best out of the car all weekend and starting from fourteenth on the grid was always a tall order in terms of points contention. I made a big charge at the beginning but maybe I carried too much into the corner and paid the price. With so few races left and only four points earned from the season so far, we've got to address the issues before Spa. I really thought we could achieve something here because of the high downforce nature of the circuit, but we were obviously not as strong as we hoped."
Tom Walkinshaw: "Congratulations to Michael, Ferrari and Bridgestone for another well-deserved Championship."
Graham Taylor: ďJos drove very hard today for no reward. Yes, the car ran reliably, but we need to work very very hard on performance. It was unfortunate for Enrique that he locked up and spun off during the opening stages of the race. We thought this would be a tough race for us but not this tough."
Jos Verstappen: "That was a lot of work for nothing today as again it's a finish but no points. My start was good but it was tough to overtake. As soon as you go off the racing line you go through all the dust and then have to spend time cleaning up your tyres. I'm very happy that Michael has won his fourth World Championship but maybe it is time for me to ask him to slow down a little!"
Enrique Bernoldi: "I spun off - it's as simple as that. The track was very slippery and I locked up my rear brakes while I was pushing to catch Alonso. It's rather a fitting end to what has been a very tough weekend for us. I'd like to say congratulations to Michael for another Championship."
Mike Gascoyne: "I think the whole weekend was about getting the tyres to work correctly at the right time - and that was very true in the race. Jenson unfortunately received a stop-go penalty for jumping the start. Giancarlo lost some time behind de la Rosa's Jaguar, so we brought him in early for his first stop which gained him an advantage and a healthy lead over de la Rosa once they had both stopped. During his middle stint he was really quite competitive but after his second stop. He had a huge amount of understeer and the car was difficult to drive. We were just looking to get the car to the end, but unfortunately he had an engine failure, while Jenson had earlier lost the back end of his car at the final corner. It was a processional race and we are disappointed not to have finished, but I would like to congratulate Michael Schumacher and Ferrari on wrapping up the world championship titles today."
Giancarlo Fisichella: "I was comfortable with the way the race was going and we had two good pit stops, the first of which allowed me to pass Pedro de la Rosa. It was extremely disappointing, therefore, that I encountered engine trouble just seven laps from the end and had to retire."
Jenson Button: "After serving my stop-go penalty for jumping the start, the car was working ok, although it wasn't quite as well balanced as I would have liked. Things improved towards the end of my first stint, so tyre wear might have had an effect. After my first scheduled stop the car was really good on new tyres and that's when I set my fastest lap. It was definitely more consistent, but unfortunately I made a mistake and spun when I was coming through the final corner. I went a little bit sideways and I'm afraid traction control was unable to save me, so that was that."
Alain Prost: "Unfortunately, for the first time this season, none of our cars could finish the race. However we have never been in a position to fight for a point scoring position, and we have had many difficulties in finding a proper balance for our cars on this track. We have set some competitive times in the race but could not keep a regular pace. However, we learnt a lot with Heinz Ė Harald and we have to consider this weekend as a trial run. We must now give our best in the last four races. We are very happy for Ferrari who achieved an impressive one-two finish, and saw Michael Schumacher winning his 4th World Champion title. All my congratulations to him for this success he achieved in the most beautiful manner."
Henri Durand: "This is a very disappointing weekend for the team. We have struggled until the end to find a good balance and I am afraid we have failed. We suffered from a lack of grip and of consistency which made the job very difficult for both our drivers and the team. We did a lot of set-up changes nothing cured our problem. Both retirements are due to this lack of grip and therefore to an unpredictable car in the race. Thank you to our drivers for their efforts, patience and determination. They endured this difficult moment with us, and hopefully we will share some success together in a very near future."
Heinz Harald Frentzen: "My car had pretty much the same balance in the race as in practice. Unfortunately I retired only eleven laps before the end. Basically, I put too much power in a corner and went off the track. I learnt a lot today, and throughout this weekend. We did a lot of tests, we almost completed a race distance. Obviously, we struggled quite a lot here, but I am still optimistic and I am confident we will clearly improve for the next races."
Luciano Burti: "It is a shame I had to retire so early in the race. Some blisters appeared very quickly on my tyres, and my car had just no grip at all, which is why I spun. The positive aspect is that, after an extremely difficult start to the weekend, we made some changes during the warm-up which made me a lot happier with my car. It felt definitely better in the race. I feel sorry I did not have a chance to go to the end."Paul Stoddart: "In what turned out to be a tough race for European Minardi F1, the early stages of the event saw Fernando challenging for position with all the signs that we could be in for a good race. Unfortunately, it was not to be, Fernando retiring after a brake problem caused him to spin off the track, and Tarso stopping as precaution when the telemetry showed his engine oil pressure to be falling. His efforts today nevertheless helped the team gain valuable experience with the new gearbox, which will stand us in good stead for the future. Today may not have been successful for European Minardi, but we would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Michael Schumacher and Ferrari for winning the World Driversí Championship here in Hungary. They have shown all the other teams how it should be done, and their performance gives us inspiration for the future."
Fernando Alonso: "I made a good start and was able to match the pace of the other cars. Then I started having problems with the brakes, and this didnít help my concentration on driving. I just lost control of my car under braking, when the rear wheels locked. Iím a little disappointed because I think we could have had a good result here, but I am generally happy with our performance this weekend.Ē
Tarso Marques: "Frentzen pushed me off in the second corner on the opening lap and I lost time as a result. Then we experienced some small problems with the gearbox, which to be fair, are to be expected with a brand-new unit. The throttle also gave inconsistent response at times. Finally, after the second stop, the team told me over the radio to switch the engine off, as there was a suspected oil pressure problem. It was a bit of a disappointing day, but we did the best we could."