Jaguar Racing's promising efforts towards tomorrow's United States Grand Prix were hammered somewhat in final qualifying today as drivers Mark Webber and Justin Wilson qualified in 14th and 16th positions respectively -- an unpleasant surprise to...
Jaguar Racing's promising efforts towards tomorrow's United States Grand Prix were hammered somewhat in final qualifying today as drivers Mark Webber and Justin Wilson qualified in 14th and 16th positions respectively -- an unpleasant surprise to the team given the encouraging performances in the morning warm-up sessions.
The changing track temperature from this morning did not compliment the handling of the Jaguar R4 with both drivers struggling for grip and suffering from understeer. Tomorrow's 73-lap race will pose a tough challenge for Mark and Justin and reliability will now be the key to compensating for today's unexpected qualifying positions.
Dr Mark Gillan -- Head of Vehicle Performance:
"We had a solid and productive morning working on tyres and race set-up. Both morning sessions were problem- free and the pace going into qualifying was promising -- particularly with Mark setting the fastest time in sector two during the second warm-up session. We all felt pretty positive in the build-up to the qualifying hour but we were caught out by the lack of grip. We didn't make any significant changes to the car compared to the morning sessions and one can only assume at this stage that the track temperature went against us."
"Given that both Honda and Toyota powered teams are ahead of us, we have a very steep mountain ahead of us tomorrow and we will simply have to knuckle down and do the best job we can. The race pace of the car should be competitive and if we can remain reliable, there is always a chance. Not the performance we were expecting but there is a considerable race distance to complete tomorrow at a track that normally carries a high attrition rate."
"You win some, you lose some and today wasn't our day. We lost a bit of balance and grip going into the qualifying session and it became quite apparent as I came out of turn ten from my out lap. As I came out, the car understeered considerably and I began worrying about what was in store for me today. The brakes going into turn one were fine but the understeer kicked in again and it stayed with me for the whole lap. It was certainly a difficult qualifying session for us and not one that we expected given our pace up until now. We will, however, learn from it, move on and focus upon the job in-hand for tomorrow."
"Mark's words pretty much sum up my disappointing performance too. The track conditions had obviously changed since this morning and no sooner had I entered the in-field section than I began experiencing understeer. The car was quite twitchy in some of the corners and there was little I could do except my best. Tomorrow's race will be tough for us but there is never such a thing as an easy race anyway! It is a shame to be starting so far back at a circuit which we know we could have done a better job at today and given that I haven't yet finished a race distance for Jaguar yet, seeing the chequered flag will mean a lot to me tomorrow."
Best time: 1:13.269
Best time: 1:13.585