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2002 French GP - Jordan Honda Post-Race Press Release


The 2002 French Grand Prix provided only frustration for the DHL Jordan Honda team with Takuma Sato retiring at one third distance and Giancarlo Fisichella unable to race on medical grounds. Sato, in his debut event at the Magny-Cours track, was racing the BAR of Olivier Panis into the first corner on the opening lap and ran onto the gravel trap after their cars touched.

A suspected damaged barge board meant his front grip was reduced and at the end of lap 24 he made a mistake and understeered into the gravel at the last corner, ending his race and the teams weekend long before they had anticipated.

"The start was good and I was side by side with Olivier going into Turn One. Unfortunately Olivier turned in on me, we tangled, and there was nowhere for me to go except onto the gravel. That damaged the barge board and underneath of the car, causing huge understeer and it was difficult to stay on the circuit," he explained. "I tried, but coming into the last corner I lost grip and the car just went straight onto the gravel. This weekend has been very tough for us, particularly with Giancarlo's accident. We're so pleased he's okay and I'm looking ahead to Hockenheim now."

Giancarlo Fisichella may have been sent home on medical grounds but that didn't mean he missed the event. Watching from action from the comfort of his own home, the Italian driver was disappointed to see that neither car managed to make it across the line. Thankfully however, he is feeling well and looking forward to Hockenheim.

"I watched the race on TV at home, it was a shame to see Takuma retire. I am fine today after a good night's sleep. My headache has gone and I just have a little bit of a sore neck," he said. "I want to say thank you to Sid Watkins, the circuit medical team and air ambulance crew as they did a great job very quickly. I would also like to thank the doctors at the hospital in Nevers where I had full scans and of course the team doctor and physiotherapist from our sponsor vielife."

"This weekend has been a disaster," said a very disappointed Eddie Jordan. "The sooner we move on to the next race, the better."



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