Driver errors resulted in unrepresentative lap times today for Jaguar Racing as new boys Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia took to the track for the first of the new format qualifying sessions. The 'one-lap only' qualifying hour was always going to...
Driver errors resulted in unrepresentative lap times today for Jaguar Racing as new boys Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia took to the track for the first of the new format qualifying sessions. The 'one-lap only' qualifying hour was always going to be tough for rookie Antonio who is not only contesting his first-ever Grand Prix but is also new to the Albert Park circuit. Mark, however, knows the circuit reasonably well but failed to get the best out of the Jaguar R4 because of errors of misjudgement during his qualifying run.
The team began the day with a two-hour test programme followed by the traditional one-hour Free Practice session. With little rubber laid down on the track this morning, both drivers were frustrated by the initial lack of grip but as the afternoon wore on, Mark and Antonio began extracting the best from the car in the run-up to qualifying.
Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance
"Today was very busy for us in terms of on-track activity. We started the morning by running through our planned testing programme, with particular emphasis on tyre comparisons and general set-up. Mark completed 40 laps with no issues, while Antonio managed 16 laps. This was down to the fact that Mark was undertaking laps in the T-car as well as his race car. We then used the Free Practice to focus our efforts on finding an optimum set-up for qualifying and in Antonio's case, help him better understand the nature and demands of a circuit he has never raced on."
"The new one-lap qualifying certainly lived up to the spectacle that it promised but it's fair to say that our car was better than the drivers today. Both Mark and Antonio made mistakes during their qualifying runs and while we are disappointed not to have done better, we walk away encouraged and pleased with the performance of the Jaguar R4. With another qualifying session tomorrow and the race on Sunday, it is futile to read too much into today's performance, albeit the honest admission of our drivers mistakes."
"It would have been significantly easier today had I known the track. Because the T-car was set-up for Mark during the two-hour testing, my track time was limited because of the work the team was undertaking on my race car. From having had a handful of familiarisation laps straight into qualifying was not easy and combined with my mistakes, the final lap time could have been much better -- no doubt. I suppose it's far better to make mistakes at this stage of my F1 career than later and given how positive I feel about the Jaguar R4's potential, today's issues are really down to me -- not the machinery!"
"The Jaguar R4 has felt really good all day but I need to do a better job of controlling my aggression -- something which ultimately cost me a much higher qualifying position today. I was simply trying too hard out there and made mistakes in both the first and second sector. The new one-lap qualifying format is intense to say the least but we have learned an awful lot today. Combined with the two-hour test in the morning, the team has done an excellent job of preparing the car and I must admit to being a little disappointed not to have delivered the lap time the car is capable of doing. Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go and we are all pleased with what we have learned about our package going into the race weekend."
Best time: 1:30.092
Best time: 1:27.675