Austrian GP: Jaguar preview

Having secured their first championship points of the 2003 campaign at the Spanish Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing spent three days last week testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. Both Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia shared testing...

Having secured their first championship points of the 2003 campaign at the Spanish Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing spent three days last week testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France. Both Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia shared testing duties with the three-day programme focusing on aerodynamic development, tyre comparisons and mechanical set-up work.

Given the unfortunate launch-control incident that ended Antonio's race in Barcelona, the team also concentrated on addressing this issue and concluded that the root cause was different to the one that Antonio suffered in Imola.

As announced last Friday, Jaguar Racing and Mark Webber have extended their partnership for a further two years until the end of the 2005 season.

David Pitchforth - Managing Director:

"Our testing at Paul Ricard has confirmed to us that the launch control issue that Antonio suffered in Barcelona was not a driver issue. We have spent much time working on this area both on the track and here at the factory in our Vehicle Science Department and believe that we have located the root cause."

"In addition to working on the launch control we have worked through a programme of tyre comparisons with Michelin, aerodynamic development, mechanical set-up and suspension work. The team successfully completed the programme and given how well the test went, we managed to undertake some extra work with the time available."

"The reliability demonstrated in Barcelona was very encouraging and combined with the competitiveness pace of the Jaguar R4, we go to Austria in search of more championship points. The A1-Ring poses several set-up challenges with tyre management being of paramount importance - particularly important given the new qualifying and race format for this season."

"The three long straights will reward our Cosworth CR5 V10 powerplant and the two remaining sections place great emphasis on aerodynamic capability. Put another way, the A1- Ring forces you to make a compromise on set-up to achieve the quickest lap time. Antonio visited the factory last week and addressed the workforce prior to leaving for Paul Ricard. Like Mark, he is upbeat and encouraged about the development we are undertaking and assuming both drivers can make the chequered flag this weekend, there is nothing to stop us from adding to our points charge."

"We are also delighted at having announced an extension to Mark's contract until the end of 2005. This long term focus is important for the stability of the team and strengthens further the foundations going forward as we take our challenge further up the grid."

Mark Webber:

"It's been a busy few days with a mixture of on-track testing and off-track interest in my contract extension with the team. I have an excellent relationship with the team and I am very excited about the challenge ahead. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but this is one of the many steps that we are taking in a bid to reap the rewards that we know we can achieve, especially when you consider how much has actually been achieved since the end of last season."

"The R4 package continues to go from strength to strength and our three-day test last week at Paul Ricard was very positive. We completed a lot of preparatory work in advance of Austria and I am keen to get out onto the track this Friday morning to confirm much of what we have tested. There is no easy competition on the grid this season and it's critical that we maintain the momentum. We began the season with respectability in mind and I'd like to think that we are on the right path now."

Antonio Pizzonia:

"I am going to Austria motivated by the team's points scoring finish in Barcelona. Although my race ended before it began, we must focus on the team's results and I am confident going forward. Austria, a low grip track, is very different to Barcelona and boasts some good overtaking opportunities in turns two and three. I like the track, despite the fact it's in the middle of nowhere! I am reliably informed that I would have loved the original track used up till 1987 which, according to many, was one of the most amazing on the Grand Prix calendar."

"A Michelin shod car was on the front row of the grid last year and we are hopeful about the tyre potential this weekend. The Paul Ricard test last weekend went very well and I managed a good amount of mileage last Friday. I am looking forward to the A1-Ring and although it is not a circuit I know well, I am encouraged by the durability of the car and am therefore aiming to 'start' and finish the race".


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber
Teams Jaguar Racing