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Vous êtes dans: Accueil » Archives » Courses 1999 » Grand Prix d'Autriche » Conférence de presse

Grand Prix d'Autriche

A1-Ring - Conférence de presse

Dimanche 25 Juillet 1999
E. Irvine (Ferrari)
1 Eddie Irvine
(Ferrari F399)
en 1h28'12"438
D. Coulthard (McLaren)
2 David Coulthard
(McLaren MP4/14-Mercedes)
à 0'00"313
M. Häkkinen (McLaren)
3 Mika Häkkinen
(McLaren MP4/14-Mercedes*)
à 0'22"282

Les interviews d'après course

Question: Congratulations, Eddie, on a victory which puts you back within two points of the world championship lead. After the superiority of the McLarens in practice and qualifying, are you as surprised as we are to have taken this win today?
Eddie Irvine: I am surprised to have beaten them, yes, but at the same time I knew we were not a full second away from them yesterday and we would be closer in the race. Yesterday I thought the [realistic] margin was about half a second. We usually go better in the race and I thought that if we got the strategy right today, we could do the job.

Q: You virtually won the race at the end of your first stint by putting in some quick laps. Were you driving as fast as the car would go?
EI: No, I drove round as slowly as I could, well within the limits of the car, just to make sure [the strategy worked]. Of course, that is the period of the race when you have got to make good lap times. I had actually been saving fuel at the start of the race and I was hoping the car wasn't going to break down then, because at that stage I was behind Barrichello and driving very slowly. If I had broken down then, the Italian press would have murdered me! But I just had to save the fuel and try to save the brakes. Later I started pushing and pushing and it was when Barrichello went in [for his stop] that I really put the hammer down. That is what got us ahead of DC.

Q: With about 20 laps to go we started to see the occasional puff of smoke from your car. Do you know what that was?
EI: It was probably coming from my brain! I was overloaded. I had problems with the brakes and the car was understeering like a pig on the second set of tyres, so I was really struggling to get [competitive] lap times. Then it started to get a bit better, but we still had the brake problem and I had to ease off. Because of that, DC began to catch me a bit too quick, so then I had to forget about the brakes and start pushing.

Q: Eddie, you're two points behind Mika in the championship and this race has established you as a very credible team leader at Ferrari. What are your feelings about Hockenheim, with its high speeds and low downforce, where the Ferraris performed disappointingly last year?
EI: In the test at Monza last week we made very big steps forward. It was surprising how much time we found. Hockenheim is a different circuit from Monza and we know these two guys here are going to be quick wherever they go. But as you have seen today, we can still beat them, even when they are a little bit quicker.

Q: David, congratulations on your 2nd place, but after a very good start you were involved in a controversial first lap. Can you talk us through it?
David Coulthard: When I went off the line I thought there might be a chance to pass Mika into the first corner. When I realised that wouldn't be possible, I came back across on to my line, and I thought it might be possible to [try it again there] under braking, because all weekend I had been a little bit better [than Mika] under brakes into Turn 2. But clearly I misjudged that completely. It has always been a nightmare scenario to run into Mika when we got to the apex, but unfortunately he was turning in as I tried to stop - and disaster happened.

Q: Was your car damaged in that clash?
DC: I broke the front wing end-plate. But that doesn't matter, because I had a nightmare race, thinking about that first of all. I am very sorry for that, for Mika and for the team. Then, not coming out in front of Eddie at the stop puts the cap on a terrible day.

Q: Having built up a good lead in the opening laps, you then conceded time to Eddie as the moment for your pit stops came closer. Was there a reason for that? You lost quite a lot of time on one lap...
DC: Yes, that 'quite a lot' was Zanardi. The race is lost now, but I had already had a word with him this morning, because I think he is not being entirely professional on the track, in terms of getting out of the way of quicker cars. I don't know why he was in the middle of Turn 6, on line and going slowly [when I came to lap him], but both I and the driver ahead of me - I think it was a Prost - had to run very wide, on to the marbles, to overtake him. Then he parked it on the exit of the corner - and on that lap I lost two and a half seconds. But that's racing. Sometimes you have to expect to find idiots in the way.

Q: As you closed up on Eddie in the last 10 laps, did you think there was a realistic chance of being able to pass him?
DC: You have got to believe there's always going to be a way through somewhere if you can get there. If someone makes a mistake there's always a chance of getting through.

Q: Mika, congratulations on a fantastic drive in very disappointing circumstances, all the way from dead last to 3rd place at the finish. Can you talk us through it?
Mika Häkkinen: You don't really expect me to tell you about it from start to finish, do you? If so, we would need a couple of programmes. But after all the result was acceptable. As I said before the race, it was important to come here and score points, and we did that. Whatever happened in the second corner is not important at the moment, in this situation, but generally it was very enjoyable to be overtaking lots of other cars again. I thought the marshals here in Austria did a good job with the blue flags, which made the race extremely interesting for me..

Q: You say what happened at the second corner doesn't matter, but you have lost a possible six points...
MH: It matters, of course, but there is no point in trying to explain it now.
source: DailyF1.com
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