Jaguar Racing's home Grand Prix began well this afternoon as the first phase of qualifying got underway at a somewhat overcast Silverstone circuit (Northamptonshire). Drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia posted 8th and 11th fastest times ...
Jaguar Racing's home Grand Prix began well this afternoon as the first phase of qualifying got underway at a somewhat overcast Silverstone circuit (Northamptonshire). Drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia posted 8th and 11th fastest times respectively and both drivers are pleased with the performance and balance of the Jaguar R4 at a circuit all the teams know very well from countless hours of testing.
Rain has threatened to fall all day but apart from a light sprinkling mid-qualifying, the weather has remained dry so far. The team made good use of the two-hour free testing session this morning and worked on tyre evaluation and set-up.
David Pitchforth - Managing Director:
"That was a pleasing qualifying session given how green the track was when Mark went out. The grip levels out there could be better but we are around three-tenths off the front-runners and that is very encouraging indeed as we prepare for the real qualifying test tomorrow. We were unsure of what tyres to opt for prior to qualifying and took a very late decision that paid off in the end."
"Both drivers did a solid job today and Mark posted the fastest time in T3 - quite ironic given that both Jaguars are carrying the T3 logo on the engine cover as part of our promotion with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Terminator 3 movie. Maybe we should consider putting T1, T2 and T3 on the car for tomorrow!"
"That was a good lap and the best I could manage. I locked up a little bit going into Vale that may have cost be a tenth but overall, I am pleased with that qualifying performance. It would have nice to have been a bit closer to the front-runners but tomorrow is the ultimate test - not today. I have the fastest third sector time and it's a part of the track that I really enjoy driving. The low speed section really highlights a driver's finesse and it's nice to have posted the fastest time there."
"There is still, however, a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of us this weekend if we are to seriously chase for points. Michael Schumacher is very quick and the tyre war between Michelin and Bridgestone will be very interesting this weekend at what is my second home Grand Prix after Australia. The atmosphere is fantastic here and with Jaguar Cars, HSBC and so many of our other partners based within a hour or so of Silverstone, the importance of this particular race weekend takes on a slightly different, albeit very positive meaning."
"That worked out pretty well considering the challenge we had this morning on finding a good set-up which we achieved for qualifying. The car felt very good throughout the lap and the balance is now to my liking. The track was quite slippery this morning and improved somewhat for qualifying but it could be better. I made a mistake on the last sector coming out of Bridge into the complex section. This probably cost me a few tenths and subsequently a few places on the grid. Nonetheless, there isn't a great deal to be had from Friday qualifying and as long as we maintain the balance and speed of the car for tomorrow, we are looking well-prepared for Sunday."
Best time: 1:20.171
Best time: 1:20.877