Via FAX To "Racing Into The Future" From Louise Goodman PR Officer, Total Jordan Peugeot Grand Prix Round 1 - Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos - Sunday 26th March After an encouraging round of pre-season tests, the mood in the Total Jordan...
Via FAX To "Racing Into The Future" From Louise Goodman PR Officer, Total Jordan Peugeot Grand Prix
Round 1 - Brazilian Grand Prix Interlagos - Sunday 26th March
After an encouraging round of pre-season tests, the mood in the Total Jordan Peugeot camp is confident as the team heads off for the first race of the season, the Brazilian Grand Prix. Expectations are high all round for a good team performance at Interlagos on 26th March, but for Rubens Barrichello the 71 lap race assumes an even greater importance.
Next Sunday's event will be the first Grand Prix to take place in Brazil since the death of Ayrton Senna. Three Brazilian drivers are set to compete in the championship this year - Rubens, Roberto Moreno and newcomer Pedro Diniz - hut as the leading local contendor the eyes of the nation will be upon 22 year old Rubens at Interlagos.
"I know that everybody will he watching me, but I don't really feel that is putting me under any more pressure" says Rubens. "I think people are just keen for me to do well. I've had had an enormous amount of support - everybody has been really brilliant. Loads of letters and cards from people wishing me well.
"I must admit though, I am a bit anxious about the race" he continues. "I'm worried because I want to see lots of people in the grandstands. Some people used to come to Intetlagos only because of Ayrton and I think, because of the tragedy last year, that there might be a few holes in the crowd. It partly depends on our results though. If we perform well on Friday I think the crowds will be better on Saturday and Sunday. We have a good car - we are capable of performing well and hopefully we will.
"The 195 has more front grip than last year's car" explains Rubens, "which is important at a circuit like Interlagos where there are lots of slow speed corners. The testing has gone brilliantly for us during the winter, and I have a really good feeling about our chances. Whatever happens to us, I think it will be a good race though" he continues "because the top teams seem to be quite close to each other. And when I say the top teams, I am including Total Jordan Peugeot in the equation
Rubens' team-mate, Eddie Irvine, agrees with him. "I think that Williams are looking strongest overall" says Eddie, "but I think that it is a realistic expectation for us to qualify in the first two rows. I'd be fairly happy with top six position" he admits, "but I think really we are aiming for the top four".
Positive words from a man who is just entering his second full season of Formula One, but then Irvine is in a positive mood. "I know what I have to do this year" he explains "and consequently I'm expecting about a 300% improvement on last year. Mind you, it's probably true to say that bits of last year were so bad that a 300% improvement wouldn't he difficult to achieve!
"I just wasn't on top of ihe job for a lot of the time in 94" Eddie admits. "The season started badly for me in Brazil, and it took a while to recover. I'm feeling really good about things this year though" he concludes.
The Brazilian Grand Prix marks the start of several new partnerships for Jordan. For the first time the cars will race with Peugeot power and title sponsors Total, who are supplying fuel and lubricants for the Jordan-Peugeot 195, are new both to the team and to Formula One.
"We are absolutely delighted with the way things have gone with both Peugeot and Total so far" says Team Owner Eddie Jordan, "and in my opinion the winter testing has proved that our package is a match for anything. A few people have asked me how it's possible for the Peugeot to be going so well after a 'disappointing' first season in 1994. As I've pointed out to them though, Peugeot were on the podium at quite a few races in the second half of the season. We should know - we followed them home on several occcasions!
"We've had virtually zero problems during testing - the whole package seems to be pretty reliable which I think will be particularly important at the first couple of races. I don't know what the cause of any difficulties might have been for Peugeot in 1994, but I do know that we have spent time thinking very carefully about the engine installation in our chassis.
Jordan also welcomed new long-term sponsors, Kremlyovskaya Vodka (Krem-li-ov-ska-a) to the team. "We are delighted to have such an enterprising new company on board" said Eddie. "The phenominal growth of the brand over last thee years makes Kremlyovskaya Vodka an ideal partner for Jordan Grand Prix who have also made rapid progress since we arrived in F1.
"It's not that long ago really since we were facing pre-qualifying for the first time in Phoenix. Now the drivers confidently predict top six grid positions. The intervening four years have passed very quickly, but we've reached a lot of milestones in that time Here's to achieving our next milestone in 1995 - our first Grand Prix win" Jordan concluded.
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