Honda website
Honda website

APRIL 7, 1997

Heinz-Harald uncomfortable

WILLIAMS driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen had a disappointing performance in Brazil, where he qualified a disastrous eighth on the grid and then could finish no higher than ninth in race.

Despite matching Jacques Villeneuve's times for most of the winter testing Heinz-Harald has struggled in the first two races trying to find a good qualifying set-up. In Brazil he was further hampered by a red flag when he was on his final flying lap, which meant that his qualifying effort appeared to be a lot worse than it actually was.

In the race HH was mixed up in the accident at the first corner and had to switch to the spare car. He was then stuck in traffic for most of the race and in the closing laps suffered a gear selector problem. Despite all these difficulties Williams still felt that Frentzen was not driving as well as he might have done.

"We have seen some great performances from him in the past in other teams," said Williams technical director Patrick├ŐHead. "I am sure we will see them in a Williams as well but this was definitely not one of them."

After its experiences with Jacques Villeneuve last season, Williams engineers are searching for a way of setting up the car which will help make Frentzen feel comfortable in the car, to give him the confidence to push right to the limit.

Frentzen is struggling but this does not mean he is on his way out at Williams - as some reports would have you believe. The same happened last year to Villeneuve but once he and the engineers had developed a better understanding the French-Canadian became faster and faster.