The third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship sees Jaguar Racing head-off to the notoriously bumpy Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo. The team has concluded a three-day comparative test programme in Barcelona where the 2002 Jaguar R3 was...
The third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship sees Jaguar Racing head-off to the notoriously bumpy Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo. The team has concluded a three-day comparative test programme in Barcelona where the 2002 Jaguar R3 was tested alongside last season's R2 in an effort to understand the speed differential between the two cars. Both Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa conducted the back-to-back tests and on Friday evening, the team decided unanimously in favour of the R3.
Niki Lauda, Team Principal
"We may not have made the best start to the season, but no one can fault this team for the effort and commitment that's being put into solving our current problem on R3. There is an enormous amount of work being undertaken by just about everyone connected with Jaguar Racing and given that our new windtunnel (Bicester, UK) comes on-line next week, we should be far better placed to generate solutions than we have been in the past. I was quoted in Malaysia as saying that the R2 would have needed to be at least one second quicker than R3 for us to bring the old car out again, but this wasn't the case. In the end, the difference came down to a few tenths and we have opted in favour of developing the R3 into a more competitive package. "
"Brazil, however, will be another tough weekend for us. We will work very hard at optimising the car's balance and set-up on Friday and then aim for better qualifying positions on Saturday. Not an easy task given that we haven't had time to make any significant changes to this car since it arrived from Malaysia. Our race pace in the opening two rounds has proved that we are capable of chasing for points. Right now, however, we are making our own lives hard by starting from the back of the grid and this is why we must improve our qualifying positions quickly. We are not going to find an overnight fix and Brazil will again push everyone to the limit. Nonetheless, we are working on some ideas right now and after Brazil we'll hit the test track again in an effort to better understand the way forward from here."
"This race has always been tough on me! My only points finish at Interlagos was a sixth place back in 1999 and ever since then, Brazil has eluded me. I expect no different this year either. The Interlagos track is very tough on the cars and physically very demanding on the drivers. Not only is the circuit anti-clockwise in nature, which means different G-force loadings on the neck muscles, but the bumpy nature of the circuit makes for a harder life than normal."
"Nonetheless, we arrive in Brazil with a clear direction on where we are going now. We have decided to stick with the Jaguar R3 and push hard on the development side in the hope that we can turn the corner very soon. Niki and Guenther are working very diligently on this mission and I'm confident we'll find a solution very soon."
Pedro de la Rosa
"Interlagos is famous for left-hand corners and this does your neck no favours at all! Our neck muscles are so familiar with clockwise circuits that you really feel the pain in Brazil. The tropical heat and humidity adds to the challenge of finishing what is normally a race of high attrition. If we can get the best out of our set-up, I see no reason why we can't be in with an outside chance of points."
"Interlagos is very tough on cars and while the R3 could do with more speed, we have reliability on our side, which may see us through the high attrition rate. From four race starts, the Jaguars have crossed the finishing line three times - not bad considering the retirement rate of some of the bigger teams. The Brazilian Grand Prix always manages to throw-up some surprises and combined with reasonably good overtaking possibilities, especially at the end of the start-finish straight, it's a race that is very hard to predict."