San Marino GP: Jaguar race notes

Another weekend of promise unfortunately ended with no points for Jaguar Racing at the San Marino Grand Prix today. Drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia started the race from 5th and 15th positions on the grid respectively but both drivers ...

Another weekend of promise unfortunately ended with no points for Jaguar Racing at the San Marino Grand Prix today. Drivers Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia started the race from 5th and 15th positions on the grid respectively but both drivers suffered from start problems as the race got underway.

As a consequence, Mark lost seven places before the grid had reached the first corner while Antonio's car stalled completely and had to be pushed to the end of the pit-lane where the team started the car. Antonio re-joined the race, albeit one lap down. At the time of writing, it remains unclear as to what the cause of these problems is and the team is investigating the data.

Mark's race, however, was compromised further when on lap 20 he was given a Drive Through Penalty for speeding in the pit-lane during his first scheduled pit-stop on lap 14. Nonetheless, the pace of the Jaguar R4 was clearly evident and by lap 35, Mark had forced his way up to ninth place. With only one position away from a championship point, it looked as if Mark might climb up to eighth but his race was cut short on lap 55 with a suspected drive-shaft failure.

Dr Mark Gillan - Head of Vehicle Performance:

"A very disappointing end to a weekend which should have netted us some points. To have qualified in 5th place and lost over six positions by the first corner was very unfortunate indeed for Mark and at this stage, we are examining the problem to find out why it happened. It's a very rare thing to have happened but Antonio also suffered from a start-line issue that meant starting from the pit- lane. Just to add to our problem list, Mark was penalised with a Drive Through Penalty that in total cost us around 24 seconds."

"We don't know exactly the reason behind Mark's retirement but it looks like a suspected drive shaft failure. Once we get the cars back to the factory, we'll undertake a thorough investigation to find the root cause. We do, however, take away many positives from the weekend. The Jaguar R4 has clearly been very competitive here all weekend and that's a good sign for the remaining circuits on the calendar."

"Like the front-runners today, we also adopted a three-stop strategy and the car was on the pace thereby proving that we are running comparable fuel loads with the top teams. The corrective action we took on the fuel pick-up issue that affected the first three races has worked successfully and we haven't seen signs of the problem at all this weekend."

"The Jaguar R3 was way out of its depth here last year and to have taken such a big step to where we are now is very encouraging. Points have eluded us so far but it will not be long now before we start earning a return on the huge investment everyone is making in terms of engineering-driven focus and commitment.

Mark Webber:

"The race began very badly for me with the issue on the start line and cost me a lot of positions. By the end of the first lap, I had gone from P5 to P11 but the pace of the Jaguar R4 was very good - something we have clearly demonstrated all weekend. The race then took another unfortunate twist for me with the Drive Through Penalty but there was still a lot to play for."

"I was up to P9 before I retired and I reckon I could have had Jenson Button's 8th place had it not been for traffic problems. We obviously have some issues to address but let's be honest - I would much rather have a quick car with some reliability niggles than a slow and unreliable car. The programme is clearly moving in the right direction and our pace is very encouraging in comparison to the top teams."

"The Jaguar R4 has been very competitive at all the circuits it has raced on so far and given that Imola was our wake-up call last year, I am quite confident now of this car's potential at the remaining twelve tracks facing us"

Antonio Pizzonia:

"The bad news from today is obvious but the good news is that a Jaguar has reached the chequered flag for the first time this season! My race was effectively over at the start though because of a launch-control problem. I simply couldn't get the system to engage and the team is looking into why."

"Given that I started the race from the pitlane one lap down, I was in no position to make an impact on the race but finishing was very important from a reliability-test perspective. We have a test next week in Mugello and we'll focus on correcting some of this weekend's issues prior to the Spanish GP."

Mark Webber
Position: DNF
Best time: 1:24.258
Chassis: R4-04
T-Car: R4-03

Antonio Pizzonia
Position: 14th
Best time: 1:24.733
Chassis: R4-03

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber