Jaguar Racing arrive in Hockenheim with an ever-pressing need to score championship points. The recent improvements to the Jaguar R2 have manifested themselves very well in race trim but the need to qualify higher up the grid is paramount to being...
Jaguar Racing arrive in Hockenheim with an ever-pressing need to score championship points. The recent improvements to the Jaguar R2 have manifested themselves very well in race trim but the need to qualify higher up the grid is paramount to being rewarded for the progress made thus far. As was the case at the Nurburgring, Magny Cours and Silverstone, the team continues to post some of the fastest race laps with Eddie Irvine recording the fifth fastest lap of the British Grand Prix - less than 0.1s slower than the fastest lap of third placed Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello. Jaguar Racing introduced a new aerodynamic package for the British Grand Prix and although it hadn't been tested until Friday's Free Practice session, the team's three-day test at Monza (Italy) last week highlighted again the advances being made on aerodynamics.
"Hockenheim is the first really high-speed circuit we race on this season, so it's difficult to predict how well we will do. The track is not very demanding from a driving point of view - just go flat out down the straights and the rest is down to traction out of the slower corners. With that in mind, traction control might be an important factor here and our system seems to work quite well. I've been testing at Monza, where despite a few problems, we managed to do some more work on our aero package, trimming it for low downforce configuration and working on the new floor we introduced at Silverstone. We also got through a lot of tyre testing, which should pay off both at Hockenheim and when we come back to Monza in September. We know we have to qualify better, as our race pace is very good, but I am only cautiously optimistic that we will be able to do that at Hockenheim. The German Grand Prix seems to be a case of all or nothing for me: I won here in '99 but in my six other races here, I've never even made it into the points. Our result here will depend as much on what others do as on what we can do ourselves."
Pedro de la Rosa
"I did not enjoy the Silverstone race weekend at all. I didn't qualify as well as I'd hoped and a faulty fuel rig cost me a lot of time of time during the pit-stop. Hockenheim, however, holds fond memories for me as I achieved my first points there. It's a very high-speed track and very punishing on the car, especially on the brakes as you approach tight chicanes. Hopefully, we'll be blessed with good weather, as visibility can be appalling here in the wet because of the low tree line around the circuit's main straights. The Jaguar R2 performed well at Monza last week and you can't help but feeling encouraged after each test programme we complete. Our 2001 season was always going to be long-haul journey with many mountains to climb on the way, but we're all pleased at the rate at which we're achieving this. There are still six races left and on current form, it really shouldn't be too long before we earn some points which in turn will do justice to the progress everybody at Jaguar Racing is making."
Bobby Rahal, CEO
"Our three-day programme at Monza last week went some way to reaffirming our belief that we're making good progress on aerodynamics. It's a little frustrating, however, in that everybody is now seeing the clear improvements in our lap times relative to our competition but the challenge remains in moving higher up the grid for qualifying. This only serves to highlight the aggressive nature of modern-day Formula One in that nothing ever stops for a second. Everybody around us is developing their cars constantly and pushing very hard in the days between testing and racing. The relentless nature of this pace makes it even harder to play 'catch-up,' especially when one considers where we were twelve months ago. Nevertheless, we are pleased with the rate at which we are closing the gap against our rivals and some more race points would make for a well-deserved reward in return for the incredible hard work that's taking place amongst everybody here at Milton Keynes."