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Vous êtes dans: Accueil » Archives » Courses 1999 » Grand Prix de Belgique » Conférence de presse

Grand Prix de Belgique

Spa-Francorchamps - Conférence de presse

Dimanche 29 Août 1999
16h30
D. Coulthard (McLaren)
1 David Coulthard
(McLaren MP4/14-Mercedes)
en 1h25'43"057
M. Häkkinen (McLaren)
2 Mika Häkkinen
(McLaren MP4/14-Mercedes)
à 0'10"469
H.-H. Frentzen (Jordan)
3 Heinz-Harald Frentzen
(Jordan 199-Mugen Honda)
à 0'33"433

Les interviews d'après course

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Question: Congratulations, David, on a crushing victory here at Spa. We saw an aggressive move involving you and Mika at the first corner. What happened there?
David Coulthard: Well, before the red lights actually went out, Mika moved, and I almost moved with him, in reaction. Then, when the lights did eventually go out, he made what was not a very good start while I made a better start. I naturally came over to defend what I could take, on the [racing] line. When I realised it was still going to be close, I opened out a little bit and there was a little bit of contact. But I don't think there was any damage done.

Q: So you and Mika actually touched?
DC: Yes, we touched just as we were going into La Source. But then I turned away to make room, so there was no damage done.

Q: You were much faster than Mika in the first stint, while in the rest of the race you were running at the same pace. Was that just because you were pushing harder in the early part?
DC: I don't know. I was surprised. I was pulling away from Mika and I don't know whether he had some damage to his car from the contact or whether he had some other problem. But it was pretty easy to pull away, and then to maintain my gap until my last stop.

Q: When you won at Silverstone you mentioned that your two contenders had retired from the race with accidents and various problems. Does it give you more satisfaction to win here at this ultimate drivers' circuit?
DC: Absolutely. Spa has always been my favourite track and I had never won here, in any of the different formulae which have brought me here. So to finally win here is great. To have won my home race, at Silverstone, and then to win here, it means I have won at two of the most important circuits.

Q: Mika, we have heard David's version of what happened in the first few metres of the race. How would you describe what happened between the two of you?
Mika Häkkinen: I knew you were going to ask me that first! It was... an experience again. Not very pleasant, but - no further comments. The way the race went generally, overtaking is not something I would consider when you have two very competitive drivers running at equal speeds. It didn't make any sense for me to try to stay close to David either, because the engine doesn't cool very well when you're following closely and you can be taking unnecessary risks because you don't have the best possible downforce in the car.
At that point it is best to drop back and concentrate on your race, so that you are able to get the best possible score. At that moment the best possible score [for me] was 2nd position, which in a [fight for a] championship is obviously better than nothing, [when you think] what could have happened at the first corner. I understand that Eddie [Irvine] finished 4th, which makes an interesting situation or the rest of the season.

Q: What happened to you when your car jumped on the start line?
MH: I had a slight problem there. When all the lights are shining you want to feel the clutch, to know where it is, and the clutch grabbed very quickly. The car moved [forward], but luckily I stopped the car completely at that moment and put the clutch back in. As normal, the lights went off at the moment, but I was still able to make a reasonable start. I was hanging there all the time, but... that's it.

Q: Heinz, you made a good start and held your 3rd position while the McLarens went away from you and the rest of the field dropped away behind you. Was it what might be called a 'quiet' race for you?
Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Yes, indeed. I felt a bit sorry for the spectators because we couldn't have an interesting fight, at least not at the front. Actually, at the start I felt quite confident that Mika would be given a penalty, but unfortunately for me he didn't. It's possible that the system isn't activated until a certain moment... But I was happy to get away as well, because there was a bit of confusion. I tried to follow Mika as closely as possible, but unfortunately the McLarens were a bit too fast for us today.

Q: Mika, you fell back considerably behind David after the start. Was there any damage done to your car in the incident with David?
MH: No, luckily. Obviously David and I have exactly equal cars at the tracks, so there was no sense or any logic in even thinking of getting close enough to him to be able to overtake. It was better to drop back, take it easy and save the car. There was no point in trying to beat my team mate here: at the moment he is not the biggest threat to me in the championship.

Q: Mika, would you have appreciated it if the team had ordered you and your team mate to change places, to give you an extra four championship points, as Ferrari did at Hockenheim?
MH: (long pause, accompanied by a sigh) He, heh... yeah, what is the next question?

Q: Did you ask Ron Dennis to issue team orders?
MH: No, I did not.

Q: Did you expect it?
MH: (no response)

Q: David, we in this room have the impression that there is some ill feeling between you and Mika because of what happened at the first corner. Wouldn't it be best to let us know, now, if there is any dispute? Second, did you expect any orders from the team after you had gone into the lead?
DC: First of all, you're wrong (laughs). And as always when there's anything to be discussed [between us], I prefer to do it privately. I don't see that it's any of your business whatsoever. And no, I did not expect team orders. Whenever there's been an issue like that, Ron Dennis had always discussed it before the race, not halfway through.
source: DailyF1.com
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