The United States Grand Prix began well for Jaguar Racing with Mark Webber qualifying his Cosworth-powered R4 in 3rd place behind the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello in second place and provisional pole sitter Jarno Trulli in the Renault. The ...
The United States Grand Prix began well for Jaguar Racing with Mark Webber qualifying his Cosworth-powered R4 in 3rd place behind the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello in second place and provisional pole sitter Jarno Trulli in the Renault. The temperamental Indianapolis weather played havoc however, and rain began falling around midway into the session.
The showers turned heavy to the extent that extreme weather tyres were permitted and Justin Wilson, who is driving the circuit for the first time, had no choice but to qualify with full wet weather tyres and in the end, Justin had to settle for 18th position. The two-hour testing session this morning was productive for the team with the focus upon tyre comparisons, set-up and race preparation for Sunday. Justin's session was compromised for a short time during an engine change and power steering change but he was back in his race car for the pre-qualifying Free Practice session -- during which time it also rained.
Dr Mark Gillan -- Head of Vehicle Performance:
"An excellent lap by Mark, especially since it began raining very lightly just as he left the garage. Justin, however, was unlucky to have been on the receiving end of the heavy showers and given that he has never raced around this circuit, he did a pleasing job in what were very difficult conditions. We learned a considerable amount this morning and for Justin in particular, the track time was invaluable."
"We would prefer a dry race on Sunday but given how changeable the weather has been, we are prepared for all conditions. The pace of the Jaguar R4 is pleasing and the car's balance in the infield section is particularly good -- a point proved by Mark's second sector time which was less than a tenth slower than the fastest time set by Jarno Trulli. Overall, a pleasing start to the weekend but a long hard slog is ahead of us if we are to add to our points tally this weekend."
"I'll take that! Given that our low fuel runs this morning were compromised by the rain, qualifying was the first real stab in dry conditions and it was a little difficult to judge the braking point at turn one. The car however felt very good and while it was a little greasy in places, the overall lap was clean, tidy and very pleasing in the end. We have been consistently quick over one lap this season but the bigger picture for us is Sunday and that's what we are really concentrating on."
"The race set-up is critical and we will work hard to prepare ourselves for what will be a hard race. We didn't have the best weekend here last year and the progress Jaguar has made in twelve months has been nothing short of impressive, albeit we still have a good climb ahead of us before we are truly satisfied. A good start to what will no doubt be a long weekend and hopefully, a productive one for all concerned."
"At some point my luck has to change but obviously not today. Mark set a brilliant time on his qualifying lap and while I had a few niggles to contend with this morning, my overall feeling going into qualifying was good, albeit until the rain gods arrived. The team took the correct decision to switch to full wet tyres but there was little I could do out there today apart from setting a clean lap. The car felt quite good but in those conditions, it was impossible to make an impression on the pace. Tomorrow's qualifying session will dictate the order for Sunday and all I can do is hope for a fair crack at the whip unlike today."
Best time: 1:10.081
Best time: 1:19.491