Belgian GP: Jaguar preview

SpaFrancorchamps remains one of the longest and without doubt one of the greatest circuits on the FIA Calendar. This year it plays host to the 14th round of the Formula One World Championship. With its unpredictable weather it remains a...

SpaFrancorchamps remains one of the longest and without doubt one of the greatest circuits on the FIA Calendar. This year it plays host to the 14th round of the Formula One World Championship. With its unpredictable weather it remains a challenging circuit for the F1 teams. Jaguar Racing has completed a one-day shakedown at Silverstone (UK) in the run-up to the Belgian Grand Prix. In an attempt to alleviate inherent problems with the steering that the drivers have been encountering since the beginning of the season, new front components have been used in the front suspension. The shakedown was successful and the amendments will be incorporated into the R3 to be run at Spa this weekend. Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa are both looking forward to racing at the Belgian Grand Prix. Well known for its corners and in particular 'La Source' a corner that has more often than not, attracted a first-lap incident, the weekend's racing promises to provide entertainment for both driver and spectator alike. SpaFrancorchamps has proved itself time and time again as one of the most exciting races on the calendar and 2002 is unlikely to disappoint.

Niki Lauda - CEO and Team Principal
"After a successful shakedown at Silverstone last week we are looking forward to taking the R3 to Belgium. We have made some small component changes to the front suspension and we are happier with the overall steering on the car. Spa is a good track, certainly one of the most exciting in terms of overtaking opportunities. The weather though is always a big problem here. One moment you have rain and the next sunshine. These conditions make racing here good fun for the spectators but can add a lot of pressure to the team when is comes to tyre strategy. We will of course be working alongside Michelin to ensure that we are prepared come rain or shine. I know that Eddie and Pedro despite the changes to the front suspension are expecting a difficult weekend. The circuit is challenging and history predicts an incident packed race. With that in mind we will of course be looking to make the most of any overtaking opportunities that may arise over the weekend."

Eddie Irvine
"2001 at Spa was for me an incident packed race and of course this year I will be looking to steer clear of much of the activity that the first hairpin 'La Source' attracts. The circuit is definitely one of the best on the calendar. It has a good mixture of slow and fast corners and some good overtaking opportunities. The problem that you have here is the weather. Not only does it change from wet to dry in a matter of minutes, but also you can quite often have a bit of both at different ends of the circuit. This really affects your race strategy.

"After a one-day shakedown at Silverstone last week, I am happier with the set-up on the R3. The team has made a few small component changes to the front suspension and this has made a difference. For me this weekend should be an enjoyable race after the monotonous Hungarian circuit. Spa is one of the few old tracks remaining on the F1 circuit and it deserves its place on the calendar as it continues to provide drivers with challenges both in qualifying and the race itself."

Pedro de la Rosa
"Although I did not attend the one-day shakedown I am looking forward to Belgium so that I can test the changes to the front suspension for myself. Spa is a good track to put the R3 steering through it's pace since there are so many corners, both fast and slow. Despite our changes I suspect that this weekend's racing will remain difficult. As Eddie knows the first corner can be incident-packed and certainly I will be aiming to make the most of any overtaking opportunity that may arise. This weekend is also about being flexible in terms of strategy. Weather changes here happen so quickly. Although it's only 44 laps, Spa is one of the longest tracks in use on the calendar and that can takes its toll on both car and driver. After my frustrating race in Hungary I am looking forward to a circuit where there are overtaking opportunities and where as history predicts, anything can happen."

The 44 lap Belgium Grand Prix gets underway at 1300hrs (BST) on Sunday 1st September 2002

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Pedro de la Rosa , Niki Lauda
Teams Jaguar Racing